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US, Saudi Arabia Sign $15B Missile Defense System Deal

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US, Saudi Arabia Sign $15B Missile Defense System Deal
Saudi Arabia will buy 44 of Lockheed Martin's THAAD launchers, missiles and other equipment.
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The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have officially inked a deal for a $15 billion missile defense system. 

It's a major step forward in an agreement that was finalized last year

Saudi Arabia will buy 44 of Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, launchers, missiles and other equipment, which is meant to help boost Saudi Arabia's security against Iran and other threats in the region. 

This advancement comes amid sharp criticism of the Saudi government following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

But a U.S. State Department spokesperson defended the deal in a statement to CNBC, saying it "represents an important political commitment by both the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to counter Iranian ballistic missiles by every means possible."