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U.S. Offers to Begin Deliveries to Saudi Arabia a Year Early

The Carter Administration has offered to begin deliveries of 60 F-16 fighter planes to Saudi Arabia in January, a year ahead of schedule, but without assurances that the combat capabilities of the planes would be enhanced by the bomb rocks and extra fuel tanks that the Saudis want.

The State Department said today that U.S. supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the increase of oil prices by Saudi Arabia for the second time in three months, made known today at an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting, are not related. The offer of earlier delivery of the F-15s was made in November by Gen. David Janes, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a report here. The Saudis have not accepted the offer, it was reported.