Pentagon approves sale of 20 C-130s, 5 refueling aircraft to Saudi Arabia

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The Pentagon has cleared the sale by Lockheed Martin of 20 transport planes and 5 Hercules refueling aircraft worth $6.7 billion to Saudi Arabia.

The sale of the KC-130J and C-130J-30, which has 15 extra feet of fuselage to accommodate two extra palettes, was the largest for the four-engine turbo-prop plane, according to Lockheed Martin spokesman Peter Simmons.

Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Friday the new planes will sustain Saudi Arabia’s old and nearly-obsolete fleet of C-130s. The kingdom has a total 50 of such aircraft with the first bought in 1965.

DSCA also said the contract, which includes 20 spare engines made by U.K.’s Rolls Royce, does not alter the basic military balance in the region.

In December last year, the U.S. also approved the sale of $29.4 billion worth of fighter jets to the kingdom.

Lockheed Martin is also set to supply Qatar and the United Arab Emirates with missile defense systems worth $16.4 billion.

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