The Levant News — The US is all set for a new special delivery for Riyadh. The Saudis are awaiting a fresh shipment of Black Hawk helicopters, packed with heavy weapons. The move flies in the face of international calls on Western powers to halt weapons deliveries to the Saudis, whose airstrikes continue to pound Yemen further into humanitarian crisis.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced approval of the weapons deal, worth $495 million, that includes nine Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, equipped with AN/AAR-57 missile warning systems and M134 7.62mm six-barrel miniguns. The helicopters will be operated by the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command.
Twenty M240H machine guns and additional equipment is listed in the contract as well.
The sale requires up to sixty US government and contractor personnel to travel to Saudi Arabia for up to sixty months for the equipment follow-up. Riyadh received 72 Black Hawks in 2010, alongside dozens of Apaches and other helicopters, F-15SA strike fighters and various other military equipment.
The US has been selling Black Hawks extensively over the last two years to countries including Jordan, Tunisia, Austria, Slovakia, Mexico and Brazil.
“The proposed sale will make a positive contribution to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner that has been, and continues to be, a significant US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the announcement on the DSCA website published Wednesday states.
Source: Sputnik News