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article imageUK plans to buy 9 PA-8 military aircraft from Boeing

By Sravanth Verma     Mar 27, 2016 in Business
Washington - The United States government approved a sale of nine PA-8 military aircraft by Boeing to the UK, bringing the $3.2 billion sale a step closer to closure.
The United States government made an announcement of the deal, which will be structured as a government-to-government sale, though the delivery date wasn't mentioned in the official statement.
The PA-8 is a military surveillance jet that is a modified version of its popular commercial model, the 737 passenger jet. This sale will make the UK the third international customer for Boeing, after India and Australia. Boeing is aggressively pushing sales in Asia, seeing it as a fast-growing market in both civil and military equipment.
The nine jets will help UK in maritime and submarine surveillance, and will be a replacement for an older set of aircraft that have been grounded since 2010. The aircraft include a host of sensors and the ability to deploy weapons such as torpedoes. Boeing estimates that it will sell over 100 of these aircraft in the next decade. This is over and above the existing order with the U.S. military for 109 jets which will be delivered by 2022. Boeing is also hoping for sales to materialize in India, and has signed on to the Indian government's "Make in India" campaign.
Meanwhile, US Presidential Democratic candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton squared off over the deal. The argument centered on the Exim or US Export-Import Bank, a US self-sustaining federal agency that helps U.S. companies sell goods and services abroad by providing financing for exports, often in the form of loans and credit insurance at below-market rates.
Since 2007, $64 billion of the bank's $65 billion in insured shipments, guaranteed credit or loans disbursed for Washington companies were given to Boeing. Sanders has been a critic since at least 2002, when he knocked the bank for “huge subsidies and loans to the largest multinational corporations in the world,” which have included AT&T, Bechtel and Caterpillar. Clinton however stood by the bank and stated, "I just shook my head when Sanders joined conservative Republicans in criticizing the bank as a vehicle for corporate welfare."
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