Boeing gets $4 billion in Saudi F-15 deal

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Boeing is being awarded a contract worth almost $4 billion to upgrade 68 Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S fighters to an enhanced SA configuration before the end of this decade.

Outlined by the US Department of Defense in a 2 November contract notification, the deal will cover "development, integration and testing, fabrication of trial kits to support validation and verification activities". To run until 31 December 2019, the deal also covers the procurement of 68 F-15SA conversion kits, "and installation of four base stand-up kits", the DoD says.

Riyadh last year confirmed its intention to upgrade the capabilities of its F-15S fleet, with Boeing having received an initial $1.84 billion contract in June 2012 to develop a modification kit. Additional suppliers already confirmed as involved in the project include digital electronic warfare system supplier BAE Systems and Sniper targeting pod producer Lockheed Martin.

The Royal Saudi Air Force has an active fleet of 70 F-15S aircraft, delivered between 1995 and 2000, according to Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. In addition to modernising the bulk of its current inventory, the service is also to receive 84 new-build F-15SAs.

Meanwhile, Raytheon has received an $18.3 million contract via the US Air Force "for integration and weapon verification support" linked to a Foreign Military Sales deal with Saudi Arabia. Its activities will conclude by December 2016, the DoD says.