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Saudis buy U.S. and Russian air defense

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The State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and related support, equipment and services for an estimated cost of $15 billion.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman recently traveled to in Moscow, with a 1,500 strong entourage—the first time a Saudi king has ever visited the city. Following the visit, the kingdom announced it will buy the S-400 air defense system from Russia. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the system.

Part of the system will be built in Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to develop its own military industries. The MOU also covers the production in Saudi Arabia of Kornet-EM anti-tank missiles, TOS-1A multiple rocket launchers, and AGS-30 automatic grenade launchers. Another general terms and conditions of contract agreement was also signed that covers Saudi production of the Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifle and associated 7.62x39 mm ammunition.

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