Saudi Arabia will purchase Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N) $15 billion missile defense system, a U.S. Department of State spokesman said on Wednesday, following aggressive lobbying from the government to close the agreement that included a private call between President Donald Trump along with Saudi King Salman.
The State Department said the Saudis and also U.S. officials signed the letters of offer and approval documents on Monday, formalizing provisions for Saudi’s purchase of 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, missiles, and related equipment.
Recently the Trump administration along with the U.S. defense sector worked to conserve the couple real deals in the much-touted $110 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia amid increasing concerns regarding the part of the kingdom’s leadership at the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic.
The THAAD deal was under debate since December 2016 and is currently finished, ” the spokesperson said.
Trump and King Salman spoke in a late September telephone call the THAAD missile defense system bargain, a Saudi official told Reuters in October. The official stated at the point that the deal may be shut by the end of the year.
The State Department spokesman said the deal, first reported by CNBC, supports the”long-term safety of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf area in the surface of the growing ballistic missile threat from the Iranian regime and Iran-backed extremist groups.”
Defying the White House, the Senate voted Wednesday to advance a settlement to finish U.S. military aid for its Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war, setting the stage for a potential final vote on the measure over days. Congressional approval for the THAAD missile defense system sale has been granted in 2017.