Kuwait has placed an order for 30 Airbus military helicopters worth an estimated $1.1bn, while the sale of some $1.15bn-worth of land force equipment to Saudi Arabia has been approved by the US State Department.

These deals are in line with the GCC states’ strategy to build up their air and land defence forces as they continue to participate in the ongoing military offensive in Yemen and tackle internal and regional security threats.

Signed on 9 August, Kuwait’s deal with Airbus is part of the €2.5bn ($2.8bn) of defence contracts it signed with France in early 2016, according to news agency Reuters.

The Airbus H225M tactical transport helicopters each seat 28 troops in addition to crew, and will be used by Kuwait’s army and National Guard. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2019.

Saudi Arabia should also be able to take delivery of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment, worth a total of about $1.15bn, from the US’ General Dynamics soon.

The deal still has to be approved by the US Congress, although it is understood that it rarely blocks such transactions.

In May, the US State Department approved and notified Congress on the sale of $20m-worth of defence equipment to Qatar.

The purchase includes 50 Javelin guided missiles and 10 command launch units, along with associated equipment, training and support.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also indicated an intention to issue tenders for two contracts designed to reinforce Kuwait’s air defence facilities in April. The first contract is for the construction of two complete air defence sites and one central information coordination building, while the second contract is for operations and maintenance (O&M) services, which could potentially last three years.