US Approves $7.5 Billion in Foreign Weapons Sales

Foreign Affairs

Washington. In a big boost to American defence companies despite the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, the US State Department announced on July 6 that it has approved almost $7.5 billion in potential foreign military sales to five different countries.

The potential sales, announced on the website of the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), involve UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for Lithuania, E-2D Hawkeye aircraft for France, MV-22 Osprey aircraft for Indonesia, Stryker infantry vehicles for Argentina and aviation fuel for Israel.

These announcements means that the State Department has decided the potential FMS cases meet its standards, though not a guarantee the sales will happen in their announced forms. Once approved by Congress, the foreign customer begins to negotiate on price and quantity, both of which can change during the final negotiations.

The biggest price tag, at $3 billion, is 990 million gallons of petroleum-based fuel for Israel, including JP-8 aviation fuel, diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline. Vendors will be selected “using a competitive bid process through Defence Logistics Agency Energy for supply source,” according to the announcement.

The French request to purchase three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft comes with an estimated price tag of $2 billion. The aircraft is to replace France’s legacy E-2C Hawkeye fleet.

“The E-2D aircraft will continue and expand French naval aviation capabilities and maintain interoperability with US naval forces,” the DSCA announcement said.

Indonesia was cleared to spend an estimated $2 billion to buy eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft. Also included are 24 AE 1107C Rolls-Royce engines; 20 each of the AN/AAQ-27 forward-Looking infrared radars, AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers; and 20 each of the M-240-D 7.64mm machine guns and GAU-21 machine guns, among other gear.

The Baltic nation of Lithuania plans to spend $380 million to procure six UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The standard U.S. configuration requested includes 14 T700-GE-701D engines, 12 M240H machine guns, night vision goggles, a number of radios and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The Black Hawks will replace the nation’s Soviet-made Mi-8 fleet. The US is helping fund Lithuania’s purchase through the European Recapitalization Incentive Program, or ERIP, a tool developed in 2018 alongside US European Command to speed up the process of getting allied nations off Russian gear.

The South American nation Argentina seeks 27 M1126 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles, with an estimated $100 million price tag. In addition to the vehicles themselves comes a pile of equipment, including 27 M2 Flex.50-caliber machine guns, radios and smoke grenade launchers. In addition, the vehicles come with special de-processing services outside of the continental United States as well as contractor-provided training.

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