The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible sale of 30 Mark V patrol boats, as well as associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for Saudi Arabia.
The estimated $1.2bn foreign military sale (FMS) programme also includes 32 27mm guns, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation.
The proposed package comprises US Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, in addition to other related elements of logistics support.
Procured as part of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) capability upgrade and modernisation plan, the Mark V patrol boats will enhance RSNF's combat threat deterrent capabilities for protecting maritime infrastructure in the Saudi littorals.
The sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US, and enhance the security of Saudi Arabia, which continues to be an important force for stability in the Middle Eastern region.
Included in the proposed sale are an additional three to four US Government and contractor representatives to provide logistics and technical support, as well as warranty work to Saudi Arabia for a period of seven years during delivery of the boats.
The boats acquisition will also improve the nation's stability and security operations for boundaries and territorial areas across the Saudi Arabian coastline, while complementing the RSNF's existing patrol boat fleet.
The RSNF will deploy the patrol boats to rapidly identify, engage and defeat maritime security threats in the near-offshore region of the Saudi littorals as well as to patrol and interdict intruders in Saudi territorial seas.
Prime contractor for the FMS programme is due to be determined.
Image: A Mark V naval special warfare boat conducting mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, by mass communication specialist 3rd class Michelle L Kapica.