U.S. to sell $30 billion-worth of fighter jets to Saudi Arabia

The deal includes 84 new F-15s and upgrades to 70 planes in the existing Saudi air fleet

The United States has confirmed a deal to sell 84 Boeing F-15 jets to Saudi Arabia, and to upgrade 70 F-15s already in the Saudi air fleet, the BBC reports. The $30-billion deal is part of a larger arms deal approved by the U.S. Congress last year, worth approximately $60 billion over the next ten to 15 years. Josh Earnest, White House deputy spokesperson said the deal would help support American jobs, while senior state department official Andrew Shapiro said it represented “a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East.” The announcement comes amid increasing tension with Iran, including recent posturing from Tehran over its ability to control the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically crucial oil route. Saudi Arabia is a key American ally in the region, and one of the most important suppliers of oil to the U.S.

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