U.S. finalizing arms sales to Israel, Arab nations

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is working out final details of $10 billion in sales of warplanes, transport aircraft and advanced missiles to Israel and two Arab nations amid concerns about the growing threat from Iran and its disputed nuclear weapons program, Pentagon and congressional officials said Friday.

The U.S. has spent the past year negotiating with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the deals, which come ahead of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to the Middle East starting Sunday.

The officials said the United States will sell to Israel an undisclosed number of Boeing KC-135 aerial refueling planes and Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft, the tilt-rotor hybrid that can take off and land like a helicopter and then fly like an airplane, as well as precision-guided missiles and advanced radar for Israeli fighter aircraft. It would be the first sale of the V-22 to a foreign nation.

In Israel, officials said the U.S. offer is meant to ensure Israel’s military edge in the region, in light of arms sales the U.S. is advancing in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The weaponry is not expected to arrive in Israel for at least two years.

The package for Israel also includes financial aid.

The United Arab Emirates would purchase 26 Lockheed Martin F-16 warplanes under the deal, as well as advanced air-launched missiles. Three Pentagon officials who briefed reporters on the arrangement Friday said the UAE segment of the deal is valued at $4 billion to $5 billion. They did not specify the value of the sales to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are expected to buy advanced air-launched missiles.

The Pentagon and congressional officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deals publicly. One official said the deals were briefed to Congress on Thursday by Wendy Sherman, the State Department’s undersecretary for political affairs, and James Miller, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy.

The New York Times first reported the impending sales Thursday.

Hagel will visit Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish inventor makes changing beds magical

He hopes to make his big push in the hotel industry, where injuries to housekeepers are increasing.

Boeing planes designed for Alaska to make final flights

The special Boeing 737-400s carry cargo in the middle of the plane and 72 passengers in the rear.

Monroe’s Canyon Creek Cabinet names new exec VP

Mark Kovich has joined Monroe-headquartered Canyon Creek Cabinet Company as the executive… Continue reading

Century 21 North Homes Realty adds new agent in Lynnwood

Century 21 North Homes Realty has welcomed Adriene Crum to its Lynnwood… Continue reading

Longtime Comcast Everett employee travels to aid Houston

Lake Stevens resident and longtime Comcast Everett employee Brandon Johnson traveled to… Continue reading

Emory’s fun run raises $2,000 for Housing Hope, Beck’s Place

Proceeds from the 1st Annual Emory’s Silver Lake Fun Run on Labor… Continue reading

Happy accident leads Edmonds couple to make Hunniwater drink

The latest line of energy drinks by Karin and Eric… Continue reading

Single payer is no panacea for our costly health care system

We must address the cost of health care before designing an insurance system.

Voters are on the sidelines as the port fills a vacant seat

Troy McClelland resigned from the Port of Everett commission too late for an election before 2019.

Most Read