Saudi Arabia to receive US Paveway IV bombs
Raytheon UK’s Paveway IV precision-guided bomb has secured its first export customer, following US congressional approval for a deal to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Export of the Paveway IV to the Saudis has been held up for several years by the refusal of the US State Department to give clearance for US components included in the weapon.
Raytheon UK officials briefing reporters at the company’s facility confirmed they had signed their first Paveway IV export customer, but said they were not able to identify the nation involved.
Saudi Arabia, though, has been previously identified as the first potential export customer by numerous media organizations.
John Michel, the weapons business director at Raytheon UK, said the contract was signed in December and approved by the US Congress in February.
Michel said weapons would be produced over the next two years, with the first bombs handed over in about 18 months.
Trevor Taylor, a senior analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank, said it was difficult to be specific about why the State Department had blocked the sale of Paveway for so long.
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