SAUDI ARABIA REQUESTS $525 MILLION SALE OF 74K PTDS AEROSTATS FROM US
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $525 million sale of 74K persistent threat detection system (PTDS) aerostats to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Under the sale, Saudi Arabia aims to receive ten 74K PTDS aerostats, as well associated equipment, support and training. The Lockheed Martin-built PTDS is a large heliumfilled system that will provide soldiers with long-range intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communication assistance. It also provides ground forces with situational awareness against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and incoming missiles. The sale is in line with the US Government’s commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security and armed forces.
As part of the sale, Saudi Arabia requested 14 ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radars, 26 MX-20 electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) cameras, and 10 communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors. The country also asked for mooring systems with embedded fibre-optics, ground control systems (GCS), associated installation hardware, tools and testing equipment, and basic issue items (BII). Additionally, the sale covers programme management and technical support, transportation, spare parts, communications equipment, operators and maintenance manuals and training. The procurement will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force’s interoperability with US forces, as well as Saudi Arabia’s ability to combat current and future threats.