The Pentagon announced Thursday that the State Department approved a potential sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia worth about $650 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Saudi Arabia requested a purchase of 280 AIM-120C air-to-air missiles, 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers, and other related equipment. The primary contractor is Raytheon Technologies, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The DSCA said the sale is in support of Saudi Arabia’s air force that is waging a major air campaign in Yemen. In February, President Biden vowed to end support for Riyadh’s “offensive” operations in Yemen. But it was revealed in April that the Pentagon is still servicing Saudi warplanes that are bombing the country.
The missile sale is another example of the US continuing to support the brutal war in Yemen and is the second arms deal for the Saudis approved by the Biden administration. In September, the State Department approved a deal worth $500 million to maintain Saudia Arabia’s military helicopters, including Apache and Black Hawk attack helicopters.