In a statement the Pentagon said, the U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of 3,000 precision guided munitions to Saudi Arabia in a deal valued at up to $290 billion.
The incoming Bidden Administration has pledged to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Washington’s biggest buyer of military weapons from the Middle East, in order to pressure it to end its war in Yemen.
The potential sale includes 3,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) munitions, containers, support equipment, spares and technical support, said the Pentagon.
“The proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by increasing its stocks of long-range, precision air-to-ground munitions,” said the Pentagon while adding that “the size and accuracy of the SDB I allows for an effective munitions with less collateral damage.”
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified the U.S. Congress of the potential sale on Tuesday.
Members of Congress had been angered by a sharp increase in civilian casualties in Yemen and earlier this year they had tried to block the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Riyadh. The attempt had failed.
Boeing Co was the prime contractor for the weapons, said the Pentagon.