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Old 06-08-2017, 12:58 PM
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Arrow Revealed: Trump's $110 billion weapons list for the Saudis

Revealed: Trump's $110 billion weapons list for the Saudis
By: Aaron Mehta, June 8, 2017
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/...reaking%20News

Personal Note: Are we sure we want to sell our state-of-the-art weapons to other countries? This leaves them the ability to reverse engineer our designs. Your Thoughts?


WASHINGTON – The administration's much touted $110 billion arms proposal to Saudi Arabia, previously slim on specifics, includes seven THAAD missile defense batteries, over 100,000 air-to-ground munitions and billions of dollars’ worth of new aircraft, according to a White House document obtained by Defense News and authenticated by a second source.

President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia on May 20 drew headlines for what was billed as a $110 billion arms agreement. However, experts quickly pointed out that much of the deal was speculative, as any arms sale has to go through the process of being cleared by the State Department, then Congress, before going through an often lengthy negotiating period with industry.

The document does, however, reveal the different buckets that make up the $110 billion figure, including “LOAs to be offered at visit,” or letters of agreement that the Kingdom has already requested and the Trump administration supports, totaling $12.5 billion as well as the ten-year sustainment estimates on those programs, totaling $1.18 billion.

Of course, these totals are best-guess estimations and likely represent the ceiling for what could be spent. The figures may well come down, and the timeframes listed may well change, based on final negotiations around the equipment.

The largest pot of money involves the “MOIs to be offered at visit” section, totaling $84.8 billion. That section represents potential sales, or memos of intent, that the Trump team offered to the Saudis while in Riyadh.

Among those listed as potential sales are:

$13.5 billion for seven THAAD batteries, with an estimated delivery time of 2023-2026.
$4.46 billion for 104,000 air-to-ground munitions, divided amongst five types (GBU 31v3, GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-31v1, GBU-38).

$6.65 billion for enhancements to Saudis’ Patriot anti-missile system, with a scope of work from 2018-2027.

$2 billion for “light close air support” aircraft, with the aircraft and delivery date still unknown. It is possible that the winner of this contract could be related to the U.S. Air Force’s OA-X close-air support study.

$2 billion for four new aircraft, of a to-be-determined variety, for “TASS & Strategic ISC.” TASS stands for “tactical airborne surveillance system,” similar in concept to the U.S. Air Force JSTARS system. It's possible the replacement could be the same as the JSTARS replacement currently being considered by the Pentagon. Those would be delivered in 2024.

$5.8 billion for three KC-130J and 20 C-130J new aircraft, along with sustainment through 2026. Those planes would start delivery in 2022.

$6.25 billion for an eight-year sustainment deal for Saudi Arabia's fleet of F-15 fighters, with another $20 million for an F-15 C/D recapitalization program study.
$2 billion for an unknown number of MK-VI Patrol Boats, with an unknown delivery date.
$6 billion for four Lockheed Martin-built frigates, based on the company’s littoral combat ship design. That order falls under the Saudi Naval Expansion Program II (SNEP II) heading, with planned delivery in the 2025-2028 timeframe.

$2.35 billion to modify 400 existing Bradley fighting vehicles, along with another $1.35 for 213 new vehicles.

$1.5 billion for 180 Howitzers, with an estimated delivery time of 2019-2022.
$18 billion for C4I System and integration, with no further details given on what that means, nor with a delivery date offered.

The document also shows a focus on space capabilities for the Kingdom, with two “Remote Sensing Satellites” estimated at $800 million and two satellite communications & Space Based Early Warning Systems estimated at $4 billion. It also includes a notably high $40 million mark for a “SATCOM Definitization” meeting with the Office of the Secretary of Defense-Space policy team.

The list also includes two types of Lockheed Martin Black Hawk variants: 14 MH-60R Seahawk rotorcraft ($2 billion) and 30 UH-60 rescue helicopters ($1.8 billion). It is possible the rescue helicopters could be the same design as the Air Force’s new combat rescue helicopter, the HH-60W.

A Lockheed Martin press release, issued after Trump’s meeting in Riyadh, said the world’s largest defense firm was forming a joint venture with Saudi company Taqnia to “support final assembly and completion of an estimated 150 S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters for the Saudi government.”

Sustainment estimates for the MOI list comes in around $930 million.

Meanwhile, a planned vote in the Senate that would challenge parts of the Saudi package was postponed until next week, per Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy.

Just this week, two more orders were announced as having cleared the State Department, deals for 26 AN/TPQ-53(V) Radar Systems ($662 million) and a blanket order training program for the Royal Saudi Air Force ($750 million). Both of those count against the $110 billion figure, a source with knowledge of the agreements said.

A White House spokesman deferred comment to the Pentagon. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Roger Cabiness said in a statement that the "arms sale announced between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is a broad agreement in principal," adding that "steps include letters of intent, letters of offer, letters of approval, awarding of contract, and delivery. As the terms of these sales are finalized, we will notify Congress and make public the specifics of each transaction."
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:14 PM
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Finally a smart guy steps in - and I agree

Topic: US Senate Democrats rallying votes against Saudi arms sale
By: Joe Gould, June 7, 2017
RE: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/...audi-arms-sale

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has committed to vote against a U.S.-Saudi deal for precision-guided munitions, a signal Democrats could oppose the deal en masse.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said Wednesday he would vote to block the sale of $510 million in smart bombs to be used in the war in Yemen because the Trump administration has not yet articulated a strategy to end the war through political means.

“Instead, this administration’s approach appears to be more weapons sales,” Cardin said in a measured statement Wednesday that expressed some support for Riyadh. “The administration’s decision to proceed with the sale of precision-guided munitions, absent leadership to push all parties toward a political process for a negotiated settlement, including Saudi Arabia, sends the absolutely wrong signal to our partners and our adversaries.”

Cardin’s statement came after Senate Democrats discussed the issue in a weekly party meeting Tuesday.

The latest measure was introduced by Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Al Franken, D-Minn., in late May as a rebuke against the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen’s two-year-old civil war, and U.S. military support for it without congressional approval. According to the United Nations, more than 7,600 people have been killed in the war, and the country is on the brink of famine.

The vote could come as soon as Thursday, when the big news is expected to be former FBI Director's James Comey testifying before the Senate on his interactions with President Trump over Russian meddling in U.S. elections.

"I know Comey hearing is the thing, but don't sleep on a possible Senate vote tomor[row] on Saudi arms sale," Murphy said in a tweet on Wednesday evening. "I'm hustling for votes as we speak..."

Under the Arms Export Control Act, any senator can file a discharge petition to force a full debate and vote on an arms sale. In this case, the vote targets an arms sale the Obama administration had blocked in December because of concerns over Saudi-caused civilian casualties.

The resolution would halt three planned deals. It targets packages of Joint Direct Attack Munitions that would be deployed from the Royal Saudi Air Force’s western-made F-15 fighter aircraft; Paveway laser-guided bombs for Saudi Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, and the integration of the Kaman FMU-152A/B Joint Programmable Fuze into the MK-80, BLU-109, and BLU-100 munitions.

Earlier this week, the State Department announced it OK'd a $750 million blanket order for training for Saudi Arabia that includes subjects such as civilian casualty avoidance, the law of armed conflict, human rights command and control. This deal is not included in the resolution.

On Tuesday, Paul said he has gotten little traction with Republicans to block the arms deal and was not sure it would win the simple majority it would need to pass. The best hope was to send a message asserting Congress's war-making authority.

“Whichever way it turns out, I think it’s an important issue because it’s a proxy debate for should we be at war in Yemen — which we are in, in a way, already,” Paul said. “That should be voted on in Congress and shouldn’t be glossed over. When the Obama administration finally pulled back, I think they were influenced by our debate [in the Senate].”

Aside from exacerbating the humanitarian crisis, the sale would ratchet up an arms race with Iran, Paul said.
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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