US State Department Approves Sale of 3,000 Smart Bombs to Saudi Arabia

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WASHINGTON, 30 December 2020, (TON): The US State Department has approved the potential sale of 3,000 precision guided munitions to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a deal valued at up to $290 billion, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

The package would include 3,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) munitions, containers, support equipment, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said.

“The proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by increasing its stocks of long-range, precision air-to-ground munitions,” the Pentagon said in a statement. It added that “the size and accuracy of the SDB I allows for an effective munition with less collateral damage.”

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the deal on Tuesday.

Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded. The Pentagon said Boeing Co was the prime contractor for the weapons.

Lawmakers worry that the weapons would be used in attacks in Yemen that would harm civilians who are already in the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

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