State Department Approves $1.3 Billion Howitzer Deal With Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has completed a new $1.3 billion artillery deal after the State Department approved the purchase of 155mm M109A5/A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer structures to be converted to the updated M109A6 Paladin Howitzer systems.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the foreign military sale on April 5.

The Saudi government purchased 180 M109A5/A6 structures that will be converted to 177 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer systems.

“This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force's (RSLF) interoperability with U.S. forces and conveys U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia's security and armed forces modernization,” the DSCA said in a statement.  “The RSLF currently has M109A2, A3 and A5 howitzers in its inventory. These additional modernized howitzers will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to support its deployed forces and defend its borders.”

Under the deal, Saudi Arabia would also receive three Fire Support Combined Arms Tactical Trainers static training devices, 180 M2-HB .50 caliber machine guns and eight Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems.

The prime contractor was not determined at the time of the deal, according to DSCA officials.

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