Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf monarchies are buying huge amounts of advanced arms from the United States and Europe. The weaponry is clearly aimed to counter the growing threat they see coming from Iran.
The United States alone has around $100 billion in potential sales in the pipeline right now. The biggest is a Saudi deal, initiated in 2010 and approved by Congress, totaling around $60 billion. The package includes jets, helicopters, hundreds of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, training, and logistical services. Israel, initially worried about the sale, agreed — after U.S. assurances — to support it in September.
In the updated version, the Saudis will receive 84 brand new F-15SAs and have 70 F-15s upgraded. The SA model is based on the F-15SE and incorporates stealth technology, the ability to carry a heavy payload, and a long-range capability.