US approves fighter jet sales to three Middle Eastern nations

2 October 2016 (Last Updated October 2nd, 2016 18:30)

The US Government has reportedly approved the long-awaited sale of fighter jets to three Middle Eastern countries.

The US Government has reportedly approved the long-awaited sale of fighter jets to three Middle Eastern countries.

Sources familiar to the matter were reported by DefenseNews as saying that the approval paves way for Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to receive fighter jets from Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

As part of a deal worth approximately $4 billion, Qatar will receive 36 Boeing F-15s and Kuwait will receive 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, along with options for 12 more aircraft.

Lockheed will deliver 17 F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain, in addition to upgrading up to 20 additional aircraft.

"These countries are buying equipment that is interoperable with our equipment, which gives us the opportunity to deal with crises as they occur."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker was quoted by DefenseNews as saying: "I'm glad where we've gotten to the point where the notification is coming to Congress. We've been pushing for it for some time.

"In my opinion, our national interest is being served by pursuing these sales, and that always comes first, but a by-product of that is we are keeping production lines functioning in case we need to utilise those in the future.

"These countries are buying equipment that is interoperable with our equipment, which gives us the opportunity to deal with crises as they occur.”

The approval comes after US Senate voted in favour of a $1.15 billion military arms sale to another Middle Eastern nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.