Diplomats from Saudi Arabia have confirmed news of the country planning to raise its arms purchase from the United States to $90 billion from $60 billion. This is in an attempt to upgrade the country?s military forces as it faces off with Shi?ite Muslim, the non-Arab Iran for influence in the Gulf Arab region.
“There is a plan for Saudi to spend an extra $30 billion to upgrade its navy fleet,” said a Western diplomat in the Gulf. “This extra amount also includes maintenance and training for the forces,” another Gulf-based diplomat said.
“The chances this deal won’t be finalized are very remote. The money will basically be used to update the eastern fleet,” he said, adding the upgrade was part of a separate programme to the $60 billion plan announced last year.
A Saudi government adviser has commented that the deal is expected to upgrade the navy fleet and would be finalized soon.