U.S. State Department Approves Sale of Air-to-air Missiles to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of 280 AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles in a deal valued at up to $650 million, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested to buy two hundred eighty AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and five hundred ninety-six LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers (MRL).

The sale is the first major foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia by the Biden administration since taking office and adopting a policy of selling only defensive weapons to the Gulf ally.

The State Department approved the proposed sale on Oct. 26, a State Department spokesperson said, adding that the air-to-air missile sale comes after “an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year.”

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This potential sale will support Saudi Arabia’s Eurofighter Typhoon, F-15C/D, F-15S, and F-I5SA programs and will further strengthen the interoperability between the United States and Saudi Arabia, State Department said in a statement.

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