Riyad, the capital of Saudi Arabia, has been discussing the procurement of up to 72 advanced F-15 fighters. The Saudi order could include the purchase of Boeing’s latest stealth design for the F-15, known as the Silent Eagle.
The U.S. defense Web site “Buzz,” citing industry and defense sources, reported that the U.S. Defense Department would approve any Saudi request for the F-15. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which processes requests for major weapons procurement, has not confirmed the Saudi interest.
Boeing has reported interest by Israel and Saudi Arabia of the F-15 Silent Eagle, which remains in the design stage. The Silent Eagle was meant to comprise an F-15E platform modified to reduce its radar signature. The platform would also contain internal conformal fuel tanks.
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Saudi Arabia has been operating about 150 F-15s, procured in deals with the United States in the 1970s and 1990s.
In 2008, Riyad received approval for Joint Direct Attack Munitions tail kits for the F-15 fleet.
Riyad has sought to modernize its F-15 fleet as well as bolster defense relations with the United States. The Saudis have also been preparing for the first deliveries of the Eurofighter Typhoon, a multi-role combat fighter, as part of an $8.9 billion deal with BAE Systems, a global defense, security and aerospace company.