Photo: Samuel King Jr. / U.S. Air Force
The US State Department has inked $1.8 billion in arms deals for the UK, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Kenya this week, including air-to-air missiles and threat detection systems.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the approved the deals 23 January. The foreign military sales are pending Congressional approval.
Much of the money is directed toward sustainment and support, such as the $400 million for sustainment and contractor logistics support for Boeing AH-64D Apache Helicopters for Kuwait. The UK would ink a $400 million sale to continue logistics support for eight Boeing C-17 Globemasters. The UK’s current support contract will expire this September and the new contract will upgrade the aircraft’s communications system and heads up display.
Raytheon scored with a $110 million contract for 60 AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles to fit Kuwait’s Boeing F/A-18C Hornets. In November, DSCA also approved the sale of 40 F/A-18Es and F/A-18Fs Super Hornets to Kuwait.
Under a $525 million sale, Saudi Arabia would receive ten 74K Persistent Threat Detection System. The sale did not identify the prime contractor, though the PTDS is designed by Lockheed Martin. The US Army has used the tethered lighter-than-air vehicle for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions across Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade, according to Lockheed. The contract also includes fourteen ground moving target indicator radars and ground control systems.
The State Department also approved a $418 million FMS contract for twelve Air Tractor AT- 802L converted cropdusters that will aid Kenya in the fight against al-Shabaab. The contract includes two AT-504 trainer aircraft and weapons packages.
The Air Tractors are more efficient and able to fly closer to conflict zones than Kenya’s aging Northrop F-5E fighters, according to the DSCA.
“The platform maximizes the Kenyan Defense Force’s close air support ability because it is a short-field aircraft capable of using precision munitions and cost effective logistics and maintenance,” the DSCA notice states.