US approves $7.5 billion in foreign weapons sales in one day
- 07 July 2020
It was a happy Independence Day for American defense companies, with the U.S. State Department announcing Monday it has approved almost $7.5 billion in potential foreign military sales to five different countries, APA reports citing Defense News.
The potential sales, announced on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, 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.
DSCA announcements mean that the State Department has decided the potential FMS cases meet its standards, but is not a guarantee the sales will to 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.
Israel: 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 Defense Logistics Agency Energy for supply source,” according to the announcement. Israel operates the American-made F-35I Joint Strike Fighter, among other aviation assets.
France: 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. In addition to the aircraft, the country wants 10 T-56-427A engines, three AN/APY-9 radar assemblies, four AN/ALQ-217 electronic support measure systems and one Joint Mission Planning System, among other technologies.
“The E-2D aircraft will continue and expand French naval aviation capabilities and maintain interoperability with U.S. naval forces,” the DSCA announcement read. “As a current E-2C operator, France will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.”
Primary work will be done at Northrop Grumman’s Melbourne, Florida, location. There will be industrial offsets required in the future, but those have not been defined at this point. This is the first DSCA notification of an arms sale to France since at least September 2017, as the country prefers to rely on its domestic arms industry.