U.S. State Dept. approves mortar round sales to Singapore

By Ryan Maass  |  March 15, 2017 at 11:15 AM
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March 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of 2,000 XM395 precision mortar rounds to the government of Singapore.

If approved by Congress, the sale is estimated to cost $66 million. In addition to the 2,000 rounds, Singapore's request also includes support equipment and services.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency says the proposed sale will benefit U.S. foreign policy interests by strengthening capabilities for an allied country in a highly strategic region.

Singapore intends to use the mortar rounds to defend against current and future threats in addition to bolstering its homeland defenses. State Department officials say the country's armed forces will no have no difficulty absorbing the weapons into its arsenal.

XM395 mortar rounds are built by Orbital ATK, the primary contractor for the proposed foreign military sale. The company says the munitions provide operators with tactical advantages in mountainous terrain, which typically prevents artillery platforms from mobilizing. The U.S. Army procures the weapon to support its Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative.

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