Boeing Co signs defense, commercial deals with Saudi Arabia

USA defence contractor Boeing has announced the signing of several agreements with Saudi Arabia after President Donald Trump met with officials from the oil-rich state at the weekend.

Saudi Arabia will purchase Chinook helicopters and intends to buy P-8 surveillance aircraft, the USA company said in a statement.

The U.S State Department in December announced plans to sell Saudi Arabia CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters and related equipment, training and support worth $3.51 billion.

"This strategic partnership is the next step in our over 50-year relationship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a strong indicator of our continued global growth", said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. Saudi Arabia is seeking to end Iran-allied Houthi control over most of Yemen's main population centers and restore its internationally recognized government to power.

The announcement is the latest in tens of billions of dollars in deals signed between US and Saudi firms since Trump arrived in Riyadh on Saturday.

Trump and secretary of state Rex Tillerson met with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and other members of the House of Saud to negotiate a raft of trade deals between the two countries, with Boeing one of the benefactors for the production of defence and commercial products for the Saudi state.

A sale to the privately owned commercial airline is expected to include Boeing 777 and or 787 aircraft, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"In 2013, the company was renamed Boeing Saudi Arabia to reflect the broad scope of Boeing activities; today, Boeing Saudi Arabia supports the execution of all Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Boeing Commercial Airplanes programs in Saudi Arabia", the company said.

Also, Boeing has agreed to form a joint venture with the kingdom to provide sustainment services for a wide range of military platforms. The agreement also supports Saudi Arabia's efforts to grow its indigenous aerospace industry and ecosystem through its Vision 2030 initiative.

  • Zachary Reyes