The US approves $15 billion sale of THAAD air-defense systems to Saudi Arabia

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor during a successful intercept test.

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A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor during a successful intercept test.
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Thomson Reuters

The US State Department on Friday approved a sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile-defense systems to Saudi Arabia, according to a press release from Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The State Department approved Saudi Arabia’s request for 44 THAAD launchers, 360 THAAD interceptor missiles, 16 mobile fire-control and communication stations, and seven THAAD radars, DSCA said.

The sale will also include 43 trucks, generators, electrical power units, and other equipment. The total package is worth about $15 billion, but the sale has yet to be finalized, DSCA said.

The two contractors supplying the air-defense systems and military equipment are Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia also agreed to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile-defense systems on Thursday. Salman is currently in Moscow discussing the global oil market and Syrian crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin.