Pentagon clears possible sale of Lockheed planes to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON Fri Nov 9, 2012 11:45pm GMT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday said it had approved the potential sale of 25 C-130J transport and refuelling planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) to Saudi Arabia for up to $6.7 billion (4.2 billion pounds).

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress about the possible sale on Thursday, according to a posting on the agency's website. Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale although such action is rare since sales are carefully vetted before being publicly announced.

The sale covers 20 C-130J-30 transport planes and 5 KC-130J refuelling planes, as well as 120 engines built by Britain's Rolls Royce, parts, training and logistical support.

"Saudi Arabia needs these aircraft to sustain its aging fleet, which faces increasing obsolescence," the agency said.

General Electric Co (GE.N) would also be a contractor on the sale, if approved, the Pentagon said.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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