PARIS (Jun. 13)
Saudi Arabia and France have completed negotiations for the sale of 600 French-made armored vehicles which will form the backbone of the Saudi National Guard. The lightweight vehicles are due to replace outdated American models which equip the Saudi ground forces.
The armored vehicles are of two basic types: one serving as a personnel carrier and the other equipped with a sophisticated 90 mm gun. Both are easily airborne and can be carried by most transport planes used by the Saudi Air Force. The French hope that other Gulf states, such as Bahrein, Kuwait and North Yemen, will follow the Saudis and use French material to modernize their forces. The French Defense Ministry refused to estimate the financial value of the contract.