US foreign sale of $670 million of TOW 2B missiles to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) anti-tank missiles for an estimated cost of $670 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

US foreign sale of 670 million dollars of TOW 2B anti tank missile to Saudi Arabia 925 001
A U.S. Army National Guard Soldier from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fires a tripod mounted BGM-71 TOW 2B Aero at tank targets during training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., March 23, 2017. (Picture source US MoD)

The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested to buy up to six thousand six hundred (6,600) TOW 2B missiles (BGM-71F-Series) and ninety-six (96) TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) fly-to-buy lot validation missiles.

Also included is government furnished equipment; technical manuals and publications; essential spares and repair parts; consumables; live fire exercise and ammunition; tools and test equipment; training; transportation; U.S. Government technical support and logistic support; contractor technical support; repair and return support; quality assurance teams; in-country Field Service Representative (FSR); other associated equipment and services in support of TOW 2B missiles; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $670 million.

The BGM-71 TOW is a wire-guided heavy anti-tank missile produced by the American Company Raytheon Systems Company. The TOW is in service with more than 40 countries in the world and is integrated on over 15,000 ground stations, vehicles and helicopter platforms worldwide.

The TOW 2 missile system was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which constituted the first operational firing of the TOW 2B missile. TOW 2B, operates in a ‘flyover shoot down’ top attack mode, unlike other versions which are direct attack. It features a dual-mode target sensor designed by Thales (formerly Thomson-Thorn) Missile Electronics, which includes laser profilometer and magnetic sensor, and new warhead section, produced by Aerojet.

There is also tow other versions of the TOW 2B, an extended range TOW 2B missile, TOW 2B Aero, which has a range of 4.5 km, and the TOW 2B RF, a modified TOW missile with a one-way, stealthy radio-frequency command link which dispenses with the wire link and gives a range of 4.5 km.