Additional details are emerging about President Donald Trump’s $109.7 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that was formally signed on May 20. Some of the big winners in the deal include defense industrial giants Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon among others. The massive arms deal had been in the works for the past two years and was coordinated via the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Threat-Based Security Cooperation Working Group.
Lockheed Martin garnered a substantial portion of the massive deal. Altogether, the company netted more than $28 billion from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA):
– Letters of Offer and Acceptance and a Memorandum of Intent covering government-to-government sales of Lockheed Martin programs to include integrated air and missile defense systems, multi-mission surface combatant ships, radar systems, surveillance systems, tactical aircraft and rotary wing programs.
– A Letter of Intent, between Lockheed Martin and Taqnia, to form a joint venture to support final assembly and completion of an estimated 150 S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters for the Saudi government. The program supports work for more than 450 U.S. jobs including in Connecticut at Sikorsky and throughout the U. S. supply chain and also supports KSA’s Vision 2030 by creating an additional 450 jobs in the Kingdom, developing local capabilities through technology and skills transfer, thus enhancing the U.S.-Saudi global security partnership.
– A Memorandum of Understanding between Lockheed Martin and Saudi Arabian Military Industries for the parties to work together to build defense capabilities in the KSA to support Vision 2030 and provide for localization efforts associated with Multi-mission Surface Combatants and Aerostats.
Meanwhile, Boeing also captured a significant portion of the deal, although the company did not list a dollar value for its share of the spoils. Perhaps more interestingly, Saudi Arabia will be purchasing the potent Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Boeing listed the following as just a portion of its share of the Saudi deal:
– Agreements to purchase Chinook helicopters and associated support services as well as guided weapon systems.
– Saudi Arabia’s intent to order P-8 maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, which are based on the Boeing 737 commercial airplane.
– A joint venture with the Kingdom to provide sustainment services for a wide range of military platforms. The agreement also supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to grow its indigenous aerospace industry and ecosystem through its Vision 2030 initiative.
– A commercial registration certificate for the Saudi Rotorcraft Support Company, a newly formed joint venture between Boeing, Alsalam Aerospace Industries and Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries with bases in both Riyadh and Jeddah that will provide support for both military and commercial helicopters.
– An agreement between Boeing and SaudiGulf Airlines to negotiate the sale of up to 16 widebody airplanes.
Raytheon did not offer a detailed breakdown of what exactly it will sell to Saudi Arabia under the deal, but most of the equipment is related to command and control hardware.
– The agreement will enable continued global growth for Raytheon in key market areas such as Air Defense Systems, Smart Munitions, C4I Systems and Cyber Security of Defense Systems and Platforms. This partnership will also contribute directly to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s localized defense ecosystem with regional expert capabilities, and will provide a long-term foundation for Saudi Arabia’s economic development.
– As part of this new agreement, Raytheon today announced plans to establish Raytheon Arabia, a Saudi legal entity wholly-owned by Raytheon that will focus on implementing programs to create indigenous defense, aerospace and security capabilities in the Kingdom. The new company will be based in Riyadh and is expected to include in-country program management, supply and sourcing capabilities, improved customer access and centralized accountability. These programs will positively impact Saudi and U.S. economies including job creation.
Other defense contractors such as General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and others that have almost certainly gained substantially from the Saudi deal have not been as forthcoming. More detail will likely become available as time passes.
Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for the National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.
Featured image: The National Interest Blog
Nato – A Dangerous Alliance
With Nato holding its summit in Brussels this week, Rae Street explains why the military alliance remains a threat to world peace
When the Warsaw Pact ended, after the collapse of communism, some optimists might have expected Nato to be broken up too.
After all, the Labour Party in Britain had been opposed to Nato in the mid-1980s. But that was not to be. The US, which had always dominated Nato, quickly began to reinvent Nato and furthermore to expand it.
Following the end of the Warsaw Pact many central and east European governments wanted to join Nato.
This of course was music to the ears of the US military manufacturers. Indeed, the chair of the expand Nato committee, Bruce Jackson, was technical director of Lockheed Martin, the largest military manufacturer in the world. So, for the new Nato members because of the policy on “interoperability,” that is Nato personnel being able to use the same military equipment, it was out with the old Soviet military hardware and in with sales of, for example, Lockheed’s military aircraft costing millions of dollars.
This continues to this day in countries which can ill afford it with struggling economies. The latter includes Greece. Think of the situation in Greece today.
Expanding Nato up to the borders with Russia was a provocative policy. The dangers were pointed out but the military industrial complex and the “hawks” in the West took no notice.
To this day this helps President Vladimir Putin: more and more of the Russian people believe that “the West” is against them.
Decades later, we read:
“British troops have arrived in Estonia as part of a major Nato mission in the Baltic states to deter Russian aggression.”
From the beginning, Nato has always held a nuclear armed policy. It continues to claim that nuclear weapons “preserve peace.” Manifestly nuclear weapons do not deter conflict.
Governments, including Britain’s, now analyse the main threats to security as cyber warfare and terrorism. Remember September 11 2001 when New York was attacked by terrorists in planes brandishing knives?
The US then had and still has 13 nuclear armed Trident submarines, of which several will be roaming the seas fully operational. Britain has four, with one constantly on alert at sea.
Were these any use in the madman’s attack on Westminster or in any terrorist attacks?
Trident is “integrated” into Nato. Even worse, Nato still has a policy of “first use of nuclear weapons.”
When the then minister of defence, Geoff Hoon, was asked in Parliament why Britain has a policy of “first use,” he replied:
“Because of our obligations to Nato.”
Under the direction of the US administration with its policy of global domination, Nato has established a string of nuclear-armed bases across Europe in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey at Incirlik.
The latter is now causing deep problems as relations between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the US become more and more fractious.
There is now a real problem for Nato as Erdogan is a repressive dictator — how can Turkey remain in Nato?
Nato states are supposed to uphold principles of human rights and democracy, notably lacking in Turkey today.
The nuclear-armed bases come under Nato’s “nuclear sharing policy” — in effect a violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Nato continues to expand. The policy of not acting “out of area” was dropped long ago. “North Atlantic” simply means domination of policies by the US.
Nato claims in its “strategic concept” that “the promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organisations around the globe.”
In 1994 Nato established the Partnerships for Peace across Europe, extending as far as Uzbekistan. Nato surrounds Russia from the west and east. These Partnerships for Peace (note the language again) now include 22 states, including “neutral” Ireland.
Then there is the Mediterranean Dialogue with arrangements with countries in the Middle East. Few people realise that Nato carries out military exercises with Israel. Nato has also established bilateral relations — named individual partnerships — with Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
In this part of the globe, where Nato carried out a military exercise in 2014 with Japan named Ocean Shield, they are surrounding and menacing China as the enemy.
Then there was the statement by Nato that “co-operation between Nato and the United Nations continues to make a substantial contribution to security in operations round the world.
“The alliance aims to deepen political dialogue and practical co-operation with the UN, as set out in the Nato/UN declaration signed in 2008.”
This seems like Nato bidding to be the military arm of the UN. This hardly accords with the UN Charter. It was the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which was set up under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter to prevent and resolve conflict by non-military means and to promote co-operation in humanitarian and other fields.
The 54 member states stretch from Iceland to Kyrgyzstan and include Russia. Alas, how many times do you read of their work in the press compared with the times you hear about Nato?
Nato is sold to us as a peace-making body. After all, the US is home to the finest PR companies in the world.
Do not be misled by Donald Trump’s condemnation of Nato. It is not the policies he is condemning. He himself wants more nuclear weapons in the world, though one wonders if he can comprehend the horror of what happened when the US dropped nuclear bombs.
And to her shame, Theresa May has also said she would press the nuclear button and so has shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith.
Trump just wants more money for war as we saw when he announced a $54 billion increase to the military budget — while thousands in the US live below the poverty line.
To summarise, Nato is pursuing yet more militarism and war:
– All Nato states are required to increase their military budgets to 2 per cent of GDP. That means stealing more money from social needs. Readers of the Morning Star know those all too well: the NHS, education, adult social services; the list is endless.
– Nato member states will have to spend 20 per cent of defence budgets on military equipment: warships, war planes, drones, bombs. By fuelling the arms race, Nato makes a mockery of moves for conflict resolution.
– Nato and its member states multiply interventions outside their territory and increase their presence through worldwide partnerships and “coalitions of the willing.”
– Nato extends its nuclear policies as a supreme “guarantee for the allies’ security,” notwithstanding that the majority of countries in the world are negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. In the meantime, nuclear weapons in Europe — under the guise of Nato — and elsewhere are being modernised at a cost of many tens of billions of dollars and pounds. Think of Trident at a cost of £205 billion.
The Nato summit will be held tomorrow in Brussels and activists will be holding a “counter-summit” beginning today with protesters organising workshops and a demonstration. CND activists will be there from Britain, but we also need people to raise the issues with their MPs, write letters to the press and raise awareness on social media. Let’s put pressure on the government to invest in social welfare, not Nato, not war.