Saudi Arabia, in an active state of war with Israel since 1948, seeks a new advanced air-to-air missile from the United States.
Saudi Arabia has requested the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile from the United States.
The U.S. Defense Department said Riyadh has requested 250 Sidewinders in a sale estimated at $164 million.”The sale of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile system will significantly enhance the Royal Saudi Arabia Air Force’s current air-to-air intercept capability,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. “Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces.”
The Saudis also requested 84 Sidewinder captive air training missiles,
12 Sidewinder dummy air training missiles as well as containers and spare parts. Saudi Arabia has already deployed the Sidewinder on its F-15S fleet.Raytheon would be the prime contractor of the proposed missile sale.
The agency said the Sidewinder project would require U.S. government and Raytheon personnel.
The personnel would be required for one-week program reviews in Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia is the one remaining Arab nations that declared war in 1948 to destroy the nascent Jewish state, which has never signed any armistice, cease-fire or treaty with Israel.
As part of its continuing war with Israel, Saudi Arabia currently provides funding for Hamas groups in Gaza and in Damascus, along with all Palestinian militant groups which pledge Israel’s destruction.