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White House approves $7 billion Boeing fighter jet sales to Kuwait, Qatar

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HAZELWOOD, MO (KTVI)-The White House approved a $7 billion sale of St. Louis built Boeing fighter jets to Kuwait and Qatar. The deal could help preserve thousands of jobs at Boeing and around the St. Louis region.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,  the jets being sold are the FA-18 E and F Super Hornets and the F-15 Eagles. The sale had been stalled for some time but now appears to be moving forward.

Kuwait has asked to buy 28 super hornets with an option for 12 more. Boeing already has enough FA 18 orders to keep the line running into 2018. The additional $3 billion Kuwait order combined with orders requested by the Navy would extend production of the Super Hornet into 2020. Qatar wants to buy at least 36 F-15s and possibly up to 72.

Boeing is already busy building F-15s for Saudi Arabia and that will keep production lines here running into 2019.

The $4 billion Qatar order would push production in the early 2020s. The sale of the Boeing jets to Qatar and Kuwait had been stalled for more than two years because of concerns from Israel that the planes could pose a security threat to that country.

U.S. officials have also criticized Qatar in the past for alleged ties to armed Islamist groups.

The sales will be formally announced once a 40 day congressional notificiation period has ended. Boeing employs close to 15,000 people in the St. Louis area.