Sale includes 44 launchers, 360 interceptor missiles, 16 mobile tactical station groups, 7 radars.

The Trump administration on Friday approved the sale of a sophisticated anti-missile system to Saudi Arabia worth up to $15 billion.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is part of a $110 billion arms package announced during President Donald Trump's visit to the kingdom in May, according to a State Department official who provided comment on condition of anonymity.

The State Department notified Congress of the potential sale on Friday, the official said. It will still have to be agreed to by Riyadh, Washington and defense contractors.

The possible sale "will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region", the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement that made particular mention of Riyadh's arch-nemesis, Iran.

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a friendly country," it added.

Included in the potential sale are 44 launchers, 360 interceptor missiles, 16 control and communications mobile tactical station groups and seven radars.

The main defense contractors behind the THAAD system are Lockheed Martin Space Systems Corporation and the Raytheon Corporation.

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