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US State Department Approves $250 Million Military Training Sale to Saudi Arabia.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the US Government on April 30, 2024, the U.S. State Department has approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, encompassing Blanket Order Training and related logistics and program support, with an estimated cost of $250 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has formally notified Congress of this potential transaction.
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Artist rendering of a US Navy's military training for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. (Picture source: generated by AI)

This sale extends further support to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) by adding to an existing $37 million training package which included precision targeting, collateral damage reduction, and various technical and professional development programs. This additional training aims to enhance the operational capabilities of the RSNF, underscoring ongoing U.S. efforts to boost naval competence among its Gulf allies.

The initiative aligns with the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States, aiming to bolster the security of Saudi Arabia—a key partner in promoting political stability and economic progress in the Gulf region. The training is expected to improve the Kingdom's defense mechanisms against regional threats, support U.S. Navy operations for maritime freedom, and enhance cooperation with U.S. forces and other Gulf nations.

Officials confirm that the proposed sale will not significantly shift the military balance in the region nor will it necessitate the deployment of additional U.S. personnel to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it is not anticipated to impact U.S. defense readiness.

The final contract details, including the principal contractor(s), will be determined following a competitive bidding process. No offset agreements are currently proposed in relation to this deal. The final agreement's value may vary based on specific requirements and budgetary allocations.

The military relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia have been a cornerstone of their strategic partnership, particularly focused on defense and counterterrorism efforts. Since World War II, when the U.S. began to recognize the strategic importance of Saudi Arabia, the military relationship has deepened. The U.S. has played a significant role in providing military equipment and training to Saudi forces, thereby ensuring the security of both the kingdom and the stability of the oil-rich Persian Gulf region.

During the Cold War, Saudi Arabia was an important ally to the U.S. in the Middle East, countering Soviet influence. Post-Cold War, the U.S. continued to support Saudi Arabia through various military sales and security cooperation programs. For instance, the U.S. has sold advanced military hardware, including fighter jets and missile defense systems, to Saudi Arabia and has helped train its military forces.

In recent times, the relationship has faced scrutiny, especially concerning the use of U.S. military equipment in the Yemen conflict and broader concerns about human rights issues. However, defense and security ties remain robust. The U.S. continues to view Saudi Arabia as a pivotal player in regional security arrangements, working together on counterterrorism efforts and to counterbalance Iranian influence in the region

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