Lockheed commences installation of THAAD missile defense system for Saudi Arabia

The deal is part of a much touted $110 billions arms package.

As per a statement from the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Corp is to receive the first tranche of the of an $110 billion arms package which the Trump administration had negotiated with Saudi Arabia in 2017.

The first package is toward the installation a $15 billion missile defense system in the kingdom.

The Pentagon awarded Lockheed a $946 million payment for the foreign military sale.

In November 2018, both countries had signed the letters of offer and acceptance which formalizes the terms of purchase of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.

As a part of the scope of work outlined by the Pentagon, obsolete systems currently in place will be updated to prepare the current Saudi missile defense infrastructure for the new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) technology.

The contract allows Lockheed to pay for materials, engineering, tooling and development among other works.

The Pentagon said, the payment was an “undefinitized contract action”; it is essentially a part payment aimed at preventing major delays in the installation of the new missile defense system in the Kingdom.

This much touted $110 billion arms sales package to Saudi Arabia came under a cloud midst rising concerns on the role the Saudi leadership played in the death of a prominent critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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