Reports

US cashes-in on new tank sales to Saudi Arabia

M1A1 US Abrams tanks.
M1A1 US Abrams tanks.
Written by NY Staff

Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in support of Yemeni forces loyal to the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armoured recovery vehicles and other equipment, worth about $US1.15 billion ($A1.50 billion), to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon says.

The approval for land force equipment comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in support of Yemeni forces loyal to the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who are trying to oust Iran-allied Houthi forces from the capital, Sanaa.

The coalition’s air strikes have come under criticism from rights groups for the deaths of civilians.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said that General Dynamics will be the principal contractor for the sale, adding it would contribute to US national security by improving the security of a regional partner.

“This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force’s (RSLF) interoperability with US forces and conveys US commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security and armed forces modernisation,” the agency said in a notice to MPs posted on its website.

MPs have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare.