Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

USA approves $15 billion sale of THAAD missile system to Saudi Arabia

Kim Jong-un GETTYNorth Korea has fired two rockets over Japanese territory this year
Howard Terry | 10 October, 2017, 00:31

XAutoplay: On | OffLate Friday, the State Department OK'd a possible $15 billion sale of 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers and 360 missiles from Lockheed.

The Kremlin said Monday that its deal to sell Saudi Arabia the advanced S-400 system is progressing despite the key US ally getting approval to buy a Lockheed Martin (LMT) system Friday.

"We will not let anyone spread the ideology of hatred, to finance that kind of ideology or terrorism", he said. US Congress has 30 days to object.

The S-400 is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

"This sale furthers U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other regional threats", the State Department said in a statement.

The presence of Russian Federation in the Middle East will contribute to the creation of the balance of power and resolve complex issues in the region, Zahir al Harithi, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council, told Sputnik Monday.

U.S. THAAD system equipment in Seongju, South Korea, last month.

"This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia's capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region", a statement said. Saudi Arabia's neighbours, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have also been supplied THAAD systems.

During the first visit by a Saudi king to Russia, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, underlined the rapprochement between the two countries by signing important agreements in the military and energy fields.

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