Kerry Visits Oman For Arms Deal, Talks On Syria, Mideast

By Reuters
May 21, 2013
Credit: Raytheon

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Oman on Tuesday for Raytheon Co’s signing of an estimated $2.1 billion arms deal and to consult on Syria and Iran, U.S. officials said.

Oman is expected to sign a letter of intent to purchase a ground-based air defence system that would help protect against cruise missile, drone or fighter aircraft attacks, a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters aboard Kerry’s plane.

Part of the sale has been previously disclosed. In October 2011, the U.S. Defense Department notified Congress of a proposed $1.25 billion sale of Avenger fire units, Stinger missiles, and Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles to Oman.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the $2.1 billion deal included these elements - which are being funded with the help of U.S. government financing - as well as other items that Oman is buying directly from the arms maker.

The official also said terms were still being negotiated and the value of the sale could change, adding it was unclear if Kerry would attend the signing expected on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Raytheon spokesman Jonathan Kasle had no immediate comment.

Raytheon Chief Executive Bill Swanson told an earnings call last month that the company was making “considerable progress” on a number of foreign arms sales, including a deal to sell a ground-based air defence system to Oman.

Raytheon generates more of its revenues overseas than any other large U.S. weapons maker. It has forecast a 20-percent increase in foreign bookings in 2013.

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