Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force concluded in Riyadh a bilateral exercise between Saudi F-15SA fighters and US Air Force B-52 strategic bombers as well as F-16 fighters.
Such an exercise explores the mutual potentials and capabilities and contribute to realizing operational compatibility and integration between the two air forces to maintain the security and stability of the region, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
In February 2018, the U.S. government has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to sell nearly $30 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets.
The $29.4 billion deal - announced against the backdrop of rising tensions with Iran - calls for the production of up to 84 new F-15SA aircraft and the modernization of 70 current F-15s, along with “munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics,” Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro told reporters then.
The agreement, which was signed by U.S. and Saudi officials, “demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a strong Saudi defense capability as a key component to regional security,” Shapiro said.
“This sale will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East,” he added.
In another development, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defense met in Riyadh last week with Acting U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Anthony Tata, in the presence of U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral cooperation programs in the defense field and ways to enhance them.