The United States and Saudi Arabia are working collectively toward the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Saudi Arabia is a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues, and a founding member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Saudi Arabia hosted the inaugural conference in Jeddah in September 2014, enacted and continues to enforce tough criminal penalties for those facilitating terrorism or traveling to fight in foreign conflicts, and issued multiple statements against ISIS/Da’esh as “Enemy Number 1 of Islam.” Saudi Arabia also leads Coalition efforts to disrupt ISIS financial and facilitation networks and build Coalition members’ capacity to identify and target such networks by increasing information sharing and developing structural measures to counter illicit financial flows. The United States works with Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.
Supported by U.S. security cooperation efforts, the Kingdom foiled numerous terrorist attempts against Saudi and foreign targets and successfully deterred external attacks. The United States remains committed to providing the Saudi armed forces with the equipment, training, and follow-on support necessary to protect Saudi Arabia, and the region, from the destabilizing effects of terrorism, countering Iranian influence, and other threats. Toward that end, the United States will continue to collaborate with Saudi Arabia to improve training for special operations and counterterrorism forces, integrate air and missile defense systems, strengthen cyber defenses, and bolster maritime security.
The U.S. has $126.6 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. Since the May 2017 signing of the $110 billion commitment to pursue Saudi Armed Forces modernization, we carried out an increase in FMS and DCS cases. To date, this initiative resulted in over $27 billion in implemented FMS cases.
FMS sales notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant prior sales include: Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile systems; Patriot Advanced Capability-3 air defense systems; follow-on support for the Royal Saudi Air Force; M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks; High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs); Light Armored Vehicles; F-15SA, C130J, and KC-130J aircraft; AH-64D Apache, UH-60M Blackhawk, AH-6I Light Attack, MH-60R Multi-Mission, and CH-47F Chinook helicopters; Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships; Mark V patrol boats; Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) modernization; Phalanx Close-In Weapons System; modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, and Javelin and TOW-2B missiles.
Since 2014, the U.S. also authorized the permanent export of over $8.2 billion in defense articles to Saudi Arabia via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Saudi Arabia include: tanks/military vehicles, military electronics, munitions, and launch vehicles.
The Saudi-led Coalition is supporting the legitimate Yemeni government and defending its territory from attacks on civilian targets by Houthi rebels. The United States continues to work with the Saudi-led Coalition to minimize civilian casualties in this conflict. The Saudi government is taking measures to improve its targeting processes and also adopted mechanisms for investigating alleged incidents of civilian casualties and addressing them operationally, as appropriate.
The Saudis received and will continue to receive training from U.S. forces on Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), air-to-ground targeting procedures, and best practices for mitigating the risk of civilian casualties. Future bilateral and multilateral training is designed to improve the Saudi security forces’ understanding of identifying, targeting, and engaging correct targets while minimizing collateral damage and civilian casualties.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.