Thursday, October 21, 2010

Balancing redefined

Just got some information about US-Saudi Arabia arms deal. End-user of all the equipment mentioned below would be Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). RSAF does not have enough pilots of its own (most middle eastern air forces don't). So a good number of their aircrafts are flown by Pakistani pilots (again the case with most middle eastern air forces). And in past, Arab air forces have "loaned" their aircrafts to Pakistani Air Force. Moreover there is no immediate or medium-term threat to Saudi interests. Chances are that a chunk of this equipment might find way to our neighbourhood. Mind you, this is the same US of A that has been selling weapons to Israel and will keep selling them in future. Same US of A that gives high-tech weapons to Pakistan to support their "war against terror" (really!!!). And yes, it is same US of A that is trying to sell India 126 fighter aircrafts under MMRCA program. I must admit that we need to learn a lot from USA about diplomacy and walking a tight rope at expense of innocent lives. Instead of trying to pacify trouble, USA has a great way of dealing with it. Arm both the sides and let them slug it out.

Anyways, here is the list of equipment on order from RSAF.

84 x F-15SA Aircraft
170 x APG-63(v)3 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA) radar sets
193 x F-110-GE-129 Improved Performance Engines
100 x M61 Vulcan Cannons
100 x Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System/Low Volume Terminal (MIDS/LVT) and spares
193 x LANTIRN Navigation Pods (3rd Generation-Tiger Eye)
338 x Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
462 x AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVGS)
300 x AIM-9X SIDEWINDER Missiles
25 x Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM-9X)
25 x Special Air Training Missiles (NATM-9X)
500 x AIM-120C/7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)
25 x AIM-120 CATMs
1,000 x Dual Mode Laser/Global Positioning System (GPS) Guided Munitions (500 lb)
1,000 x Dual Mode Laser/GPS Guided Munitions (2000 lb)
1,100 x GBU-24 PAVEWAY III Laser Guided Bombs (2000 lb)
1,000 x GBU-31B V3 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) (2000 lb)
1,300 x CBU-105D/B Sensor Fuzed Weapons (SFW)/Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD)
50 x CBU-105 Inert
1,000 x MK-82 500lb General Purpose Bombs
6,000 x MK-82 500lb Inert Training Bombs
2,000 x MK-84 2000lb General Purpose Bombs
2,000 x MK-84 2000lb Inert Training Bombs
200,000 x 20mm Cartridges
400,000 x 20mm Target Practice Cartridges
400 x AGM-84 Block II HARPOON Missiles
600 x AGM-88B HARM Missiles
169 x Digital Electronic Warfare Systems (DEWS)
158 x AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Targeting Systems
169 x AN/AAS-42 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) Systems
10 x DB-110 Reconnaissance Pods
462 x Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System Helmets
40 x Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receivers (ROVER)
80 x Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation Pods

In addition to this there will be upgrades to their existing fleet of F-15S (70 nos.). This entire package will come to around $30 billion. 

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