First Published: 2012-06-17

 

Saudi Arabia seeks to boost arsenal with 600-800 German tanks

 

With up to 800 tanks, deal will be worth 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion), one of biggest-ever for German defence industry.

 

Middle East Online

Deal sparks controversy in Germany

FRANKFURT - Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600-800 Leopard battle tanks from Germany, more than twice as many as originally envisaged, the Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported, quoting government sources.

Thus far, reports had said the Saudis wanted to purchase around 300 Leopard-2 tanks, Germany's main battle tank which is also produced under licence in Spain.

With up to 800 tanks, the deal would be worth 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion), and one of the biggest-ever for the German defence industry, Bild am Sonntag reported.

While there is opposition to the deal in the Chancellery and the Foreign and Defence ministries, there was support for it within the Economy Ministry, it said.

A deal for a first tranche of 300 tanks is ready for signing and the Saudis want to the whole deal wrapped up by July 20, when the festival of Ramadan begins, the newspaper said.

Spanish firm General Dynamic/Santa Barbara would produce the tanks under licence by the German firms, the newspaper said.

Arms exports are a sensitive issue in Germany given its Nazi past as well as the role arms makers like Krupp played in feeding 19th and 20th century wars with exports to both sides of conflicts.

Germany has refrained from exporting heavy weapons to Gulf states in the past, given its close relationship with Israel and more recently because of the so-called Arab Spring.

 

US-backed forces announce Raqa recapture

Iraq takes control of two key Kirkuk oil fields

New UN envoy in Rabat to restart talks on WSahara

Iranian guards commander killed in Syria

Lebanon promotes ‘back to public school’ drive

Israel says no to Palestine talks until Hamas disarms

IS territory down to almost 10% of 2014 ‘caliphate’

Over 3000 civilians flee Raqa under deal with jihadists

Ideology and objectives clash at Deir Ezzor

Erdogan gets Polish backing on Turkey's EU bid

Fitch Ratings says threat to Qatar liquidity fading

Iran warns EU against new nuclear deal conditions

Turkey activists face trial next week under terror charges

Netanyahu presses Russian defence minister on Iran

Hollande slams Trump's hardline stance on Iran nuclear deal

US-backed forces retake Raqa state hospital

Divided Iraq tests limited US influence

Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk governor's office

Iraqi forces seize airport, oil field from Kurds

Saudi Arabia sets conditions to role in Syria reconstruction

In tougher approach, US offers multimillion-dollar reward for Hezbollah operatives

EU ministers join forces in support of Iran deal

Batteries, tape to thank for defeating jihadists in Raqa

Palestinian Authority top official visits Gaza

Israel strikes Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to shots

Qatar starts to feel pinch from sanctions

Last days of Raqa battles ‘toughest fighting yet’

Omani role has helped Iran but may not do much in crisis with US

Head of IS in Southeast Asia dead

Mogadishu twin bomb death toll at 276

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

US-backed forces announce ‘final phase’ of Raqa recapture

Suspicion of football corruption shows limits of Qatar’s ‘soft power’

Schools closed on first day of term in rebel-held Yemen

Iraqi forces in standoff with Kurds in oil-rich Kirkuk

Protests in southern Morocco over water shortages

Iran’s Zarif says Trump speech in violation of nuclear deal

In Egypt, illiteracy rates down but problem remains

ISIS regroups in Libya amid jihadist infighting

Egypt’s Nation’s Future Party seeks to build on youth vote

Qatar freezes assets of royal member over Gulf crisis

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terror cell

Syrian troops recapture city of Mayadeen from IS

Gulf countries voice support for Trump’s tough stance on Iran

Princess named to head Saudi sports federation