President Trump last year heralded nearly $110 billion in potential deals during a trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017. Many defense analysts said that figure includes existing commitments and contracts that could last as long as 30 years.
.. “We continue to believe that the death of Jamal Khashoggi will not lead to a major break in U.S. or European defense sales to Saudi Arabia,” said Byron Callan at Capital Alpha LLC. Mr. Callan estimated that Saudi Arabia accounts for about 5% of sales at the big U.S. defense companies.
.. Saudi Arabia is the world’s third-largest defense market after the U.S. and China and the biggest export destination for U.S. contractors, which made more than $3 billion in sales to the kingdom last year
.. The biggest signed deal is a $10 billion purchase agreed in 2014 of hundreds of armored vehicles by a Canadian subsidiary of General Dynamics, which is continuing to make shipments.
.. The kingdom’s wealth and longstanding tensions with Iran led it to plan to purchase best-in-class capabilities such as Lockheed’s Thaad missile-defense system.
.. Saudi Arabia has also bought precision bombs and missiles
.. Defense executives were among prominent attendees lined up for the Future Investment Initiative conference in capital Riyadh next week. A number of executives from finance and industry have pulled out of the conference.