U.S. Approves $1.15B Sale of Tanks, Other Equipment to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment, worth about $1.15 billion, to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said the sale would contribute to the national security of the United States by improving the security of a regional partner.

It added that General Dynamics would be the principal contractor.

"This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force’s (RSLF) interoperability with U.S. forces and conveys U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia's security and armed forces modernization," the agency said in a notice to lawmakers posted on its website.

Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015 after the armed Houthi movement had pushed the Hadi administration into exile in Saudi Arabia.

The sale still faces approval by Congress, which could block it.

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(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dan Grebler)