US approves weapons sales to Middle East allies

Negotiations include F-16 fighter jets and equipment to Jordan for $4.21bin

The F-16 fighter is one of the US's most heavily exported warplanes. AP
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The US State Department has approved several weapons sales to Middle East allies, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The approvals, which do not mean the completion of a sale, include F-16 Fighting Falcon jets and related equipment to Jordan at an estimated cost of $4.21 billion, the Pentagon's Defence Security Co-operation Agency said.

The State Department approved Jordan's request for 12 F-16 C Block 70 fighter jets, radios, targeting pods and associated munitions components, including guided missile tail kits. The prime contractor for the jets is Lockheed Martin.

Saudi Arabia received approval to buy 31 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals for as much as $23.7m to upgrade its missile defence systems.

These would be installed on the kingdom's Terminal High Altitude Air Defence platforms. Iterations of the network devices were installed on Saudi Arabia's Patriot missile defence system, the Pentagon said.

The UAE received approval to buy $30m worth of spare and repair parts for its Homing All the Way Killer missile defence systems.

The Pentagon's Defence Security Co-operation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Thursday.

Despite approval by the State Department, the notifications do not indicate contracts have been signed or negotiations have concluded.

Updated: February 05, 2022, 5:56 PM