The fiscal watchdog of Congress has asserted that Washington was pumping
money to Gulf Cooperation Council states in support of non-U.S. combat
platforms and other military equipment. In a report by the General
Accountability Office, one GCC state was given millions of dollars to
maintain its new fleet of European-origin helicopters.
The GAO report said Oman received $3 million for the maintenance of its
Super Lynx-300 multi-role helicopter fleet, Middle East Newsline reported. The Super Lynx was ordered by
Oman from Europe's NH Industries, but Washington provided the maintenance
funding in 2005.
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The report, titled "U.S. Agencies Need to Improve Licensing Data and to
Document Reviews of Arms Transfers for U.S. Foreign Policy and National
Security Goals," did not explain the U.S. financing of non-American
platforms for GCC states. The administration, particularly the Defense
Department, has cited arms sales as vital to the U.S. defense industry.
In all, Bahrain and Oman received $179 million in U.S. military aid from
2005 through 2009. The report said the two GCC states, which provide air
base and port rights to the U.S. military, said the money was used to
The report said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates account for nearly
90 percent of arms procurement by GCC states. GAO cited a $6.5 billion sale
of the PAC-3 missile defense system and $1.5 billion Black Hawk helicopters
and $743 million AH-64A Apache helicopter sale to UAE.
GAO also tracked Saudi Arabia's procurement of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon
aircraft from BAE Systems. In 2009, Saudi Arabia ordered $34 million in
hardware for the Eurofighter aircraft.