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The U.S. is preparing to sell Saudi Arabia 84 Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle jet fighters for $30 billion in a deal that could eventually grow in size to include Sikorsky-made Black Hawk helicopters, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Suppliers of major weapons systems have pushed to expand their international sales as the U.S. government faces increasing pressure over a yawning federal budget deficit.

Though the Journal article published Monday didn’t name the F-15 variant being offered, it did say the jets being sold would be “ideal” for fighting Yemeni rebels, which would likely make it the F-15E.

The F-15E variant, designed for air-to-surface attacks, was successful in wiping out Iraq’s radar and missile systems during the 2003 U.S. invasion.

The 10-year package being proposed won’t include on-board targeting systems as advanced as those used in U.S. or Israeli fighter aircraft in part to garner Israeli approval, the newspaper said. Otherwise, Israel could exert pressure on Congress to block the agreement. Read more about the potential sale here.

Source: Christopher Hinton for Market Watch.

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The U.S. is preparing to sell Saudi Arabia 84 Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle jet fighters…