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

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

The Marine Corps’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to land vertically like a helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
F-35 fighter costs, $1 trillion over 60 years, draw scrutiny

Pentagon’s ability to repair F-35 parts at military depots is six years behind schedule.

Incidents of severe disturbances on commercial flights climb

The number of cases in which the cabin crew had to restrain a passenger rose to 169 last year.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company’s new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Funko starts to bounce back after disappointing stock debut

The Everett toys-and-collectibles maker also announced the acquisition of an animation studio.

Now hiring: Younger factory workers, at Boeing and elsewhere

The company and its training partners are fighting perceptions of a dying manufacturing industry.

‘The President Stole Your Land’: Patagonia, REI blast Trump

The outdoor recreation industry is allied with Indian tribes and conservationists.

Most Read