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Kremlin says S-400 missile talks with Saudi Arabia on track

Kremlin says S-400 missile talks with Saudi Arabia on track

The U.S. State Department has OK'd a $15 billion missile defense sale to Saudi Arabia, despite some lawmakers' objections over human rights concerns.

United States military sales to Saudi Arabia has come under increased scrutiny as a Saudi-led coalition is involved in military intervention in Yemen.

When asked about fears that Saudi Arabia could use the S-400 system against Iran, a Russian ally, Peskov said Moscow's decision to offer the missiles to Riyadh was not aimed at any third party.

The Kremlin said Monday that its deal to sell Saudi Arabia the advanced S-400 system is progressing despite the key USA ally getting approval to buy a Lockheed Martin (LMT) system Friday.

The THAAD - which has already been supplied to Saudi Arabia's neighbors Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - is one of the most capable defensive missile batteries in the USA arsenal and comes equipped with an advanced radar system.

"THAAD's exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia's layered missile defence architecture".

Saudi Arabia is a longstanding USA ally in the Middle East and its arms deals with Moscow have caused disquiet in Washington.

The US has already deployed THAAD to South Korea in defence of North Korea's short-range missiles, which has angered China for interfering.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) will serve as principal contractors on the sale, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Friday.

Officials told AFP that the sale, which can go ahead if the US Congress does not object within 30 days, should be seen as part of an overall $110 billion arms package that President Donald Trump promised the Saudi kingdom during a visit in May.

DSCA noted that adopting THAAD weapons will help increase Saudi Arabia's capacity to defend against potential ballistic missiles and other regional threats.