Just the Facts: U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia


U.S. Arms and Saudi Arabia

Today the European Union passed a non-binding resolution that found arms transfers to Saudi Arabia violate European arms regulations and calling for an EU embargo. In addition, last week the U.S announced the latest major arms sales to Saudi Arabia worth $200 million. The use of American-provided weapons to indiscriminately attack civilians and the Kingdom's lack of commitment to bring peace in Yemen have raised complaints. Below are some key facts regarding U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. For media inquires, please contact Seth Binder at seth@ciponline.org


$35.7 billion
The total amount of major arms deals the U.S. government has approved for sale to Saudi Arabia since the Iran deal negotiations were first announced in November 2013. Within the same time period, the United Arab Emirates were the second largest recipient U.S. major arms deal agreements in the Middle East. The U.S.-UAE major arms sales agreements total $4.7 billion.


The percent increase in total U.S. arms sales delivered to Saudi Arabia through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) program from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.


$13 billion
The total value of U.S. arms sales delivered to Saudi Arabia from FY 2009 to FY 2014, the highest of any country in the world during that time span.


$1.72 billion
The average in U.S. arms sales (Foreign Military Sales or FMS) delivered per year to Saudi Arabia from FY 2007 to FY 2014. During that same period of time, the second and third largest recipients of FMS (Israel and Egypt), received just over half that amount per year  in the region.


The number of bombs and war heads the U.S. authorized for sale to Saudi Arabia in an arms sales deal announced in November 2015. The deal totaled $1.29 billion, but didn’t come without controversy as human rights organizations called for the deal to be canceled due to the indiscriminate nature of the Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen.


The last time that the sale of U.S. arms (Foreign Military Sales) to Saudi Arabia was less than one billion dollars in a given year, at $806 million. In 2009, sales spiked upwards again to $1.6 billion total.


The number of Saudi military personnel trained by the U.S. military in 2014. The majority of those trainings are focused on instruction for how to use and maintain military equipment they received through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. However, some of the training is U.S. assistance provided though the International Military Education and Training program to help the Saudis save money on FMS training.


For more detailed information about our sources and methodology, as well as to view the associated U.S. government reports, please visit our website. For media inquiries, please contact Seth Binder at seth@ciponline.org.