Washington: The United States State Department has approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armoured recovery vehicles and other equipment, worth about $1.15 billion, to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The approval for land force equipment comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in support of Yemeni forces loyal to the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who are trying to oust Houthi forces from the capital, Sanaa.
The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said that General Dynamics will be the principal contractor for the sale, adding it would contribute to US national security by improving the security of a regional partner.
"This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force's (RSLF) interoperability with US forces and conveys US commitment to Saudi Arabia's security and armed forces modernisation," the agency said in a notice to lawmakers posted on its website.
Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare.
Saudi Arabia and Arab allies intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015 after the Houthi movement had pushed the Hadi administration into exile in Saudi Arabia.