April 1, 2019 / 7:57 PM / 2 months ago

Lockheed clinches $2.4 billion deal for sale of THAAD missiles

FILE PHOTO: Lockheed Martin's THAAD missile model is displayed during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp was awarded a $2.4 billion Pentagon contract on Monday for THAAD interceptor missiles, some of which are slated to be delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Reuters had reported Lockheed was nearing the deal earlier on Monday.

In November, Saudi and U.S. officials signed letters of offer and acceptance formalising terms for Saudi Arabia’s purchase of 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defence launchers, missiles and related equipment.

The Pentagon said the Saudi government would pay $1.5 billion of the $2.4 billion.

The November deal was inked amid concerns about the role of the kingdom’s leadership in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic who lived in the United States and was a columnist for the Washington Post.

Representatives for Lockheed Martin declined to comment.

Lockheed Martin, the biggest U.S. arms maker, builds and integrates the THAAD system, which is designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Raytheon, another U.S. firm, builds its advanced radar.

As a part of the scope of work outlined by the Pentagon, obsolete systems currently in place will be updated to prepare the current Saudi missile defence infrastructure for the new THAAD technology.

Reporting by Mike Stone; writing by Nick Zieminski; editing by Bill Berkrot, Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall

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