22:06 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Delays are Dangerous: US May Lose to Russia $9Bln Jet Delivery Deal

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    A group of US senators supporting a $9-billion deal to deliver jets to Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain are alarmed that a delay would force the three Gulf nations to buy aircraft from other countries, including Russia.

    In a letter last month, Senators John McCain, Bob Corker, Jack Reed and Claire McCaskill called on President Barack Obama to complete the deal.

    "Denying the requests will not preclude these countries from purchasing fighter aircraft with advanced capabilities from foreign providers, including perhaps Russia. America must not lose an opportunity to expand our influence in the Middle East and ensure continued US industrial dominance by ceding the field to our competitors or adversaries," the senators wrote in the letter, which was provided to The Wall Street Journal.

    According to the article, the deal includes the delivery of F-16 jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin as well as F-15 and F/A-18 aircraft, both made by Boeing.

    "We understand that these requests must be carefully considered, but a decision on them has been pending too long," the letter read.

    According to the senators, the most important part of the deal is the delivery to Qatar and Kuwait. In April, due to the delay Kuwait signed a deal to buy 28 European-made Typhoon fighter jets.

    The deal is worth about $2 billion for the Bahraini delivery, $3 billion for the Kuwaiti sale, and nearly $4 billion for the Qatari, military sources told WSJ.
    The US is expected to deliver approximately 36 aircraft to Qatar, 24 to Kuwait, and 17 to Bahrain.

    The US has delayed the contract partially because of its relations with Israel. Washington’s policy requires the US to maintain Israel’s military advantage in the Middle East and avoid sales to other regional players, which could undermine this advantage, military sources said.


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