No. 121-M

The Department of Defense announced today the possible sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of services for the continuation of the U.S. supported effort to modernize the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) by providing training and support services to include spare parts for sustainment of systems acquired under the SANG modernization program for the period Jan. 1, 1999 through Dec. 31, 2003. The estimated cost is $831 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping the security of a friendly country that is and continues to be an important force for stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

In a continuing effort to assist the SANG modernization program, U.S. Government and contractor personnel will provide services of management, training and logistics. These services will remain the cornerstone of an effort to upgrade and enhance the infrastructure of the SANG organization. There is no significant military equipment included in this sale. The continuation of services under the SANG Modernization Program is an evolution of the SANG as an effective defensive force with the advice, assistance, and training of the U.S. Army. The SANG continues to expand and modernize their force in the post Desert Shield/Desert Storm period. The Modernization Program ensures necessary training, logistics support, doctrine development, and force integration for the continuing expansion and use of these weapons systems.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Vinnell Corp., Fairfax, Va. There are no offset agreements proposed to be entered into in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. government personnel or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia. At present, there are approximately 280 U.S. government personnel and 1,400 contractor representatives in-country supporting the SANG modernization program.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. Defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.