State Department approves over $4.5 billion military sales to its allies in the Middle East, including 12 F-16 fighter jets and upgrades to Amman.

Prime contractor for the jets meant for Jordan is Lockheed Martin Corp, US officials say.
Prime contractor for the jets meant for Jordan is Lockheed Martin Corp, US officials say. (Reuters)

The United States has approved several potential weapons sales to Mideast allies including Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said.

Thursday's approvals included the possible sale of F-16 fighter jets and related equipment to Jordan at an estimated cost of $4.21 billion, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

There have been increased rocket and drone attacks on the United Arab Emirates in recent weeks.

The State Department approved Jordan's request for 12 F-16 C Block 70 fighter jets, radios targeting pods and associated munitions components including guided-missile tail kits. 

The prime contractor for the jets is Lockheed Martin Corp.

READ MORE: US approves $2.5B radars, planes sales to Egypt

Missile defence systems

Saudi Arabia was okayed to buy 31 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) for as much as $23.7 million to upgrade its missile defence systems.

The proposed MIDS-LVT terminals will be installed on the kingdom's Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) platforms, while the previously provided MIDS-LVT (BU1) terminals were installed on its PATRIOT missile defence system, the Pentagon said.

The United Arab Emirates was approved to buy $30 million worth of spare and repair parts for its Homing All the Way Killer (HAWK) missile defence systems.

The Pentagon's DSCA notified Congress of the possible sale on Thursday.

Despite approval by the State Department, the notifications do not indicate that contracts have been signed or that negotiations have concluded.

READ MORE: Biden administration green lights its first arm sales to Saudi Arabia

Source: Reuters