US approves $1.75 billion Patriot missile sale to Saudi Arabia

Associated Press

The Obama administration has approved a $1.75 billion sale of Patriot missiles and associated items to Saudi Arabia to bolster the air defenses of the key U.S. ally in the Arab world.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday that the State Department had approved the transfer, which includes 202 Patriot missiles, test targets, launchers, spare parts and other equipment. It said the sale would improve the security of Saudi Arabia, a nation it said has been an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Mideast.

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In a statement, the agency noted the move would not change the military balance in the region, where U.S. policy has long been for Israel to have a qualitative edge.