Saudi Arabia seeks Link-16 capable ISR suites from US

16 August 2012 (Last Updated August 16th, 2012 18:30)

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of Link-16 capable data link systems and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) suites to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of Link-16 capable data link systems and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) suites to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Under the estimated $257m FMS programme, the KSA has requested sale of ten Link-16 capable data link systems and ISR suites for integration into its King Air 350ER aircraft, along with associated ground support services.

The proposed package also includes an option for purchase of an additional four enhanced PT6A-67A engines equipped King Air 350ER aircraft and spare parts integrated with similar ISR suites.

The ISR suite features a communication-navigation surveillance/air traffic management cockpit, RF-7800M-MP high frequency radios with encryption, AN/ARC-210 very high frequency/ultra high frequency/satellite communication transceiver radios with Have Quick II and encryption, and a high-speed data link.

Also included is an AN/APX-114/119 identification friend or foe transponder, embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems (GPS/INS) with a selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM), AN/AAR-60 infrared missile warning and AN/ALE-47 countermeasures system, electro-optical sensor, SIGINT system, as well as a synthetic aperture radar.

KSA also sought ground stations, training aids, C4I integration, aircraft modifications, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, aircraft ferry and logistical support services.

The sale will provide the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) with an additional ISR capability to conduct continuous, real-time route surveillance, facility, infrastructure and border security, counter-terrorism and smuggling interdiction, and also support naval and coastal operations, internal defence and search and rescue operations.

RSAF’s RE-3 ELINT aircraft, which performs surveillance missions, is currently under depot maintenance and will be replaced with King AIR 350ER-ISR aircraft, until its availability beyond 2015.

The FMS will also contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of KSA, which serves as an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The prime contractors for the programme include ATK, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications, Raytheon and Rockwell Collins.