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November 29, 2018 | International, Land

U.S. approves possible $15 billion sale of THAAD missiles to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of a THAAD anti-missile defence system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of $15 billion (11.48 billion pounds), the Pentagon said on Friday, citing Iran among regional threats.

The approval opens the way for Saudi Arabia to purchase 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers and 360 missiles, as well as fire control stations and radars.

“This sale furthers U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other regional threats,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation agency said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia and the United States are highly critical of what they consider Iran’s aggressive behaviour in the Middle East.

Iran also has one of the biggest ballistic missile programs in the Middle East, viewing it as an essential precautionary defence against the United States and other adversaries, primarily Gulf Arab states and Israel.

THAAD missile systems are deployed to defend against ballistic missile attacks.

Saudi-owned al Arabiya television reported on Thursday that the kingdom had agreed to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, an announcement that came as Saudi King Salman made during his visit to Russia, the first by a Saudi monarch.

Full article: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-saudi-missiles/us-approves-possible-15-billion-sale-of-thaad-missiles-to-saudi-arabia-idUKKBN1CB2L9

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