Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump deal to Saudi Arabia includes Boeing CH-47F's...

via Reuters.
Boeing said Saudi Arabia agreed to buy Chinook helicopters, associated support services and guided weapons systems, and intends to purchase P-8 surveillance aircraft.

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. Congress was informed last year that a sale to Saudi Arabia would involve 48 of the helicopters.

Saudi Arabia is seeking closer defense and commercial ties with the United States under Trump, as it seeks to develop its economy beyond oil and leads a coalition that is fighting a war in Yemen. 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 total value of the deals was not disclosed in a statement announcing the agreements.

The Boeing announcement is the latest in business deals worth tens of billions of dollars signed between U.S. and Saudi companies since Trump arrived in Riyadh on Saturday.

"These announcements reaffirm our commitment to the economic growth, prosperity and national security of both Saudi Arabia and the United States, helping to create or sustain thousands of jobs in our two countries," said Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg.
I wonder what's going on here.  Either the USMC and Lockheed/Sikorsky just don't give a damn or they're not thinking.

We need to drive down the cost of the CH-53K helicopter.

As things stand now, Boeing (don't get me wrong, I think they're a fine company) is on the verge of dominating (if they don't already) the heavy lift helicopter market and positioning the CH-47F as the only real game in town (besides Russian offerings).

I don't understand why Lockheed/Sikorsky/USMC didn't push the sale of the CH-53K to the Saudis.  

If the Saudis are buying stuff for friendship and protection then we should have pushed the CH-53K their way.  As things stand now the USMC will be the only operator of a 140 million dollar a piece helicopter....that is not the kind of "elite" anyone had in mind.

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