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article imageU.S. expects $40 billion in military export sales this year

By Ken Hanly     Jul 14, 2016 in Business
Washington - For the fiscal year ending on October 1, 2016, the U.S. is on track to rack up $40 billion in foreign military sales. Exports sales are down from $46.6 billion last year, according to a top Pentagon official.
U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, Joe Rixey, head of the Pentagon Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) provided the statistics at the Farnborough International Airshow, saying: "We're tracking toward $40 billion. We're tracking toward our forecast. " While Rixey admitted that the total still could be different depending on what happens in the fourth quarter, Rixey did not think the Brexit will change U.S. sales to the UK. He cited two large UK purchases from Boeing just recently.
Rixey said global demand for U.S. helicopters and weapons remains strong. Rixey has created over 40 different initiatives to make the approval process quicker and more efficient in response to criticism that there were delays in handling the large number of requests. Industry officials and top U.S. military officials have complained about delays in approval of fighter jet sales to allies in the Gulf and elsewhere. However, Rixey noted that his agency only facilitated sales which first had to be approved by the U.S. State Department, Pentagon, and White House.
Stalled deals include a sale of 36 F-15 jet fighters to Qatar for $4 billion and a $3 billion deal to sell 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to Kuwait. Both are built by Boeing. Rixey explained: "Anything that is in foreign policy review is actually part of the deliberate conversation. When we get stalled there, the system is not broken, but actually acting as intended. We’re having a debate about foreign policy."
Rixey noted that increasing demands cause stress for government agencies charged with evaluating proposals. Rixey said: "It’s not broken but it’s certainly burdened, with $47 billion (in arms sales approvals) in FY15, and we're approaching $40 billion this year. We’ve got to make sure that we get better." The decline this year from last is actually caused in part by the burdened system, according to Rixey. If the stalled Kuwait and Qatar deals had been approved the export total would have been slightly above last year at $47 billion.
The U.S. exports more weapons than any other country and the 2015 level was a record. Worldwide, the U.S. is responsible for 33 percent of military exports. The top recipient of U.S. arms from 2011-2015 was Saudi Arabia, closely followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to research by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which has been collecting data since 1968. However, the the largest military aid program, according to a recent report, is to go to Israel. The rest of the top 10 were: Turkey, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, India, Iraq,
The State Department's 2017 budget request includes approximately $5.7 billion for Foreign Military Financing. In the proposed budget, the top five recipients of American foreign military financing will be Israel ($3.1 billion), Egypt ($1.3 billion), with lesser amounts going to Jordan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Other prominent exporters of arms are Russia, China, France and Germany. China is increasing its share of global arms exports rather quickly.
More about US military exports, Boeing, Israel