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Europen allies seek FMS deals

April 19, 2013 at 10:32 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- U.S. military allies in Europe are seeking missiles and support services under Foreign Military Sales deals worth a total of $565 million.

All three sales packages, if approved, would "contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States," the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its required notification to Congress.

DSCA said Britain, which has military forces in Afghanistan, requested 500 AGM-114-N4/P4 HELLFIRE missiles in one contract worth $95 million.

"The proposed sale will support the U.K.'s ability to meet current and future threats by providing close air support to counter enemy attacks on coalition ground forces in Afghanistan," it said, "enhancing the close air support capability of the United Kingdom in support of NATO, ISAF, and other coalition operations.

"Common close air support capabilities greatly increases interoperability between our two countries' military and peacekeeping forces and allow for greater burden sharing."

The Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile with an operational range of 5 miles. It is produced by Lockheed Martin.

A second deal sought by Britain involves follow-on support for long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles in its military inventory.

The Tomahawk has a range of more than 1,000 miles depending on the variant.

Follow-on support would include missile modifications, maintenance, spare and repair parts, system and test equipment, engineering support, communications equipment, technical assistance, personnel training/equipment and other logistics-related support.

The deal would be worth an estimated $170 million.

"The proposed sale of follow-on support will allow the United Kingdom to continue life cycle support of its TWS and maintain operational effectiveness," the U.S. agency said. "The United Kingdom requests support for this capability to provide for the safety of its deployed troops, regional security and interoperability with the United States."

If the FMS was to go through, one U.S. government employee and two contractors would be temporarily assigned to Britain.

Prime contractors would be Raytheon Missile Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE North America, COMGLOBAL and Science Applications International Corp.

Finally, an international consortium of allied countries belonging to NATO -- plus Finland and Sweden -- want to procure follow-on logistics services for U.S.-made C-17 airlifters in support of the alliance's Airlift Management Program.

The contract would cover participation in the Global Reach Improvement Program, alternate mission equipment, publications and technical data, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistics support.

The estimated value of the deal is $300 million.

"This proposed sale of contractor logistics support will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the military capabilities of NATO and furthering weapon system standardization and interoperability with U.S. forces," DSCA said.

Boeing would be the prime contractor.

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