General Dynamics [GD] on Aug. 9 was given the green light to sell $1.15 billion worth of M1 Abrams tanks and other heavy combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The State Department signed off on the foreign military sale of M1A2S Saudi Abrams main battle tanks and M88A1/A2 heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift evacuation system (HERCULES) armored recovery vehicles and associated spare parts, training and support.

Incumbent U.S. tank manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems was named as the primary contractor for the deal.

Saudi Arabia already operates a fleet of about 300 M1 tanks. It seeks to purchase another 153 M1A/A2 tank structures for conversion to 133 total M1A2 Saudi configuration tanks. It also wants to buy 20 battle damage replacements for losses from its existing fleet.

Included with the tank hulls are 153 Browning M2 .50 caliber machine guns, 266 M240 7.62mm machine guns and 153 M250 smoke grenade launchers, according to DSCA.

Saudi Arabia also wants to buy 20 HERCULES vehicle structures that it will convert into its own variant of armored recovery vehicles. Aside from the vehicles, the deal also could include tank driver vision enhancing helmet systems and AN/PVS-7B night vision devices and about 6,500 rounds of training ammunition for the machine guns.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner which has been and continues to be a leading contributor of political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” DSCA said in an Aug. 9 announcement of State’s approval. “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 addition of these tanks and recovery vehicles to the RSLF’s inventory will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to support its soldiers in the field and to defend the Kingdom’s borders.”

GD holds a $99.7-million follow-on contract, awarded in 2014, for work upgrading the Royal Saudi Land Forces’ fleet of Abrams tanks. That contract modification continues work started in 2008 to upgrade the M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) configuration, which increases the efficiency and capability of the tank.

A GD spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The company’s tank work is performed at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio.

GDLS received three other contract modifications in 2013 for work on the Saudis’ tank fleet, including a $133-million contract for 69 tank modifications in January of that year and a $187.5-million contract for 84 tanks in September 2013.