Saudi Arabia to purchase 84 F‑15SA, upgrade current F‑15 fleet

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force offi­cials announced the next chap­ter in a part­ner­ship with the Roy­al Sau­di Air Force as the King­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia recent­ly signed a $29.4 bil­lion For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales Let­ter of Offer and Accep­tance solid­i­fy­ing their plans to pur­chase 84 F‑15SA fight­er air­craft and upgrade their cur­rent fleet of 70 F‑15S air­craft to the SA con­fig­u­ra­tion.

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Air Force offi­cials announced the next chap­ter in a part­ner­ship with the Roy­al Sau­di Air Force as the King­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia recent­ly signed a $29.4 bil­lion For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales Let­ter of Offer and Accep­tance solid­i­fy­ing their plans to pur­chase 84 F‑15SA fight­er air­craft and upgrade their cur­rent fleet of 70 F‑15S air­craft to the SA con­fig­u­ra­tion. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Robin Mered­ith)
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“We are excit­ed about this pro­gram and the increased capa­bil­i­ty it will bring to Sau­di Ara­bia, a strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant part­ner in the Mid­dle East region,” said Hei­di Grant, the deputy under­sec­re­tary of the Air Force for Inter­na­tion­al Affairs. “Build­ing part­ner capac­i­ty is becom­ing even more impor­tant and the Roy­al Sau­di Air Force is under­tak­ing a vast effort to not only mod­ern­ize their fight­er fleet but to invest heav­i­ly in qual­i­ty train­ing.”

As part of the agree­ment, Sau­di air­men will be attend­ing Air Force tech­ni­cal train­ing cours­es at a num­ber of Air Force instal­la­tions, includ­ing Shep­pard Air Force Base, Texas, and Keesler AFB, Miss. Sau­di air­men will train along­side their U.S. Air Force coun­ter­parts, enrich­ing train­ing for both coun­tries and enhanc­ing an already strong rela­tion­ship between the two coun­tries.

The Air Force will also coor­di­nate Eng­lish lan­guage train­ing for the stu­dents at Lack­land AFB, Texas, offi­cials added.

“Air Edu­ca­tion and Train­ing Com­mand offers high-qual­i­ty, advanced train­ing to our inter­na­tion­al part­ners in a num­ber of skill sets,” said Brig. Gen. Tim Zadaliss, the AETC direc­tor of oper­a­tions. “This agree­ment allows the U.S. Air Force the oppor­tu­ni­ty to assist the Roy­al Sau­di Air Force in not only mod­ern­iz­ing their equip­ment, but ensur­ing they will have a well trained force to main­tain and oper­ate it.”

Offi­cials said that under the agree­ment, stu­dents may begin arriv­ing this year, and in 2012, the ser­vice expects to train more than 300 Sau­di air­men in Air Force tech­ni­cal train­ing cours­es.

The U.S. Air Force has been train­ing mem­bers of the Roy­al Sau­di Air Force on U.S. soil for more than 25 years, offi­cials said. Since 2007, more than 1,000 Roy­al Sau­di Air Force stu­dents have attend­ed U.S. Air Force train­ing pro­grams, includ­ing pilot, nav­i­ga­tor, logis­tics, main­te­nance and explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al train­ing, as well as pro­fes­sion­al mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion cours­es.

The pro­gram, which includes the largest for­eign mil­i­tary sales con­tract in U.S. his­to­ry, is being led by Lt. Gen. Thomas Owen, Aero­nau­ti­cal Sys­tems com­man­der and will involve pro­gram man­age­ment per­son­nel at Robins AFB, Ga., Wright-Pat­ter­son AFB, Ohio, and Lan­g­ley AFB, Va., as well as many oth­er Air Force and Navy orga­ni­za­tions.

Source:
U.S. Air Force

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