A senior Defense Department official said the administration is prepared to authorize the sale to the Saudis of as many as 84 new F-15 fighter jets and three types of helicopters: 70 upgraded F-15s, 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds. The deal could be done over five to 10 years, depending on production schedules and training needed." Washpost
There will be 60 billion dollars for these items with a possible 30 billion more for ships and naval systems. And then, there would be the maintenance contracts for all this equipment. There would be Saudi major contractors but the sub-contracts, ah the sub-contracts and consulting! We are talking real money in this.
The New York based newsies are already starting a campaign against this sale headed surprisingly by Dylan Ratigan who usually bloviates endlessly about the dying US economy. On his afternoon show yesterday he went on and on about "giving" the weapons to the Saudis and "sending" the weapons to, etc. Hello, anyone in there? (referring to his head). THIS IS A COMMERCIAL SALE!! There is no foreign aid program for Saudi Arabia. There never was one. They buy things from our companies, paying in hard cash, denominated in US dollars. 70,000 US jobs will be saved or created by these sales. We give or loan the Egyptians, Pakistanis and Israelis money with which to buy our military materiel. The Saudis buy it with their own money.
Do they really need the equipment? I seriously doubt it. The Kingdom has a very small population base. They have a difficult time filling their small forces. I predict the creation of one of the world's most impressive static displays of military equipment. But, they might hire foreign soldiers and pilots. They have done that before. Don't turn your nose up at that thought. The money would be terrific, and there are such fringes as Saudi social security and wall to wall medical and dental care provided in world class facilities by doctors who are the best that money can buy.
The Iranian threat? Oh, yes, of course... Somehow I think this has much to do with "commissions" passed around in the royal family/courtier crowd. 5% of 90 billion plus will go a long way. pl