Yea, arm both sides and let 'em duke it out (bloomberg.com, Gopal Ratnam)
The Obama administration plans to announce an arms package to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth as much as $10 billion -- the centerpiece of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to the countries next week, according to U.S. officials.
The arms sold to Israel also will include an unspecified number of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft, air defense radar and KC-135 refueling tankers; the U.A.E. will probably buy 26 F-16 jet fighters, and the Persian Gulf nation as well as Saudi Arabia will each buy precision missiles, said the official who provided details on condition of not being named before the deal is announced.
The missiles being discussed include an unspecified number of the U.S. Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile, a new weapon being bought by the U.S. Navy, the official said. The missile, made by Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK), is capable of attacking ground radar used by countries fielding sophisticated integrated air defenses, such as Syria and Iran.
If the transaction goes through, it will be the first foreign sale of the V-22 tilt-rotor made by Boeing Co. (BA) and Textron Inc. (TXT)’s Bell Helicopter unit. The U.A.E. already ordered 80 F-16s made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) in the late 1990s, and Saudi Arabia operates a fleet of Boeing-made F-15 jets.
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