Saudi Arabian officials say they are preparing to move forward with an upgrade to the country’s navy that could include a multibillion-dollar contract for Bath Iron Works, the Reuters news service reportedWednesday.
BIW’s DDG-51 destroyer is one of at least two ship designs being considered for the long-discussed Saudi Naval Expansion Program II, or SNEP, which has an estimated value of roughly $20 billion, Reuters said.
Patrick Dewar, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, told the news service that Saudi officials were planning to release new information over the next several months about how the country plans to proceed with SNEP.
Dewar told Reuters that the Saudis are considering whether to buy up to a dozen of Lockheed’s steel monohull Littoral Combat Ship or the larger DDG-51 destroyer built by BIW, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp.
“We are aware of the ongoing discussions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia concerning modernization of the Saudi fleet,” said BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini.
“We are in the business of building naval surface combatants and should the two governments reach an agreement on a program, we would be highly interested in pursuing that opportunity.”
Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Wahabbism – the extremist thought from which all jihadist militancy now pours forth. Saudi Arabia and its Wahabbism’s militant Islamic doctrines constitute a clear and present danger to the Middle East and to the entire world. The house of Saud derives its legitimacy from religious credentials underwritten by Wahabbi clerics. Wahabbism is the creed that has fuelled all jihads –many with West’s blessings- in world’s recent memory.
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