US backs $650m air-to-air missile sale to Saudi Arabia
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US backs $650m air-to-air missile sale to Saudi Arabia

US backs $650m air-to-air missile sale to Saudi Arabia

The Aim-120 missile is one of the US Air Force’s top air-to-air weapon systems

The US State Department said it supports the sale to Saudi Arabia of air-to-air missiles valued at as much as $650m, saying it will help defend the kingdom from cross-border drone attacks that have put Saudi and American personnel at risk.

The State Department said in a statement on Thursday that it sent its decision to Congress, which could block the sale of the AIM-120C missiles built by Raytheon Technologies Corp.

It also comes as President Joe Biden seeks to persuade Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to step up output amid rising energy prices.

The Aim-120 missile, also known as the AMRAAM, is one of the US Air Force’s top air-to-air weapon systems. It’s capable of flying 20 miles and hitting an aerial target beyond a pilot’s visual range. It was introduced in 1991. It has also been sold to regional allies such as Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan.

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