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Despite ongoing hostilities in Lebanon and Iraq, US military sales to the Arab world have spiked with more than $11,000 million worth of proposed contracts announced since 20 July. The US’ Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees all foreign arms sales, has notified Congress of the possible sale of weapons, military vehicles, helicopters and the provision of extensive training for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan. Congress will now have until the end of August to approve the sale. DSCA said the deals would help strengthen the military capabilities of regional allies and ability to help the US fight terrorism around the world. Saudi Arabia makes up the lion’s share of the agreements. The largest contract, valued at about $5,800 million, covers the modernisation of the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The deal includes the provision of 724 light-armoured vehicles, more than 2,300 long-range military radio systems, night-vision goggles, and rifles. Florida-based Harris Corporation, Indiana-based ITT Aerospace Communications, Virginia-based General Dynamics Land Systems and Arizona-based Raytheon Corporation are the principle contractors. The kingdom is also looking to purchase M1A1 Abrams tanks and upgrade its M1A2 Abrams tanks in a deal worth about $2,900 million. Under the proposal, Riyadh will purchase 58 M1A1 Abrams and upgrade 315 M1A2 Abrams – already in the military’s arsenal – to M1A2S configuration. Vehicle teardown and final reassembly will take place in the kingdom with the engineering phase taking 30 months. ‘The proposed sale and upgrade will allow Saudi Arabia to operate and exercise a more lethal and survivable M1A2S tank for the protection of critical infrastructure,’ says the DSCA statement. General Dynamics is the selected contractor.