Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Officials at the U.S. State Department have approved a potential foreign military sale to Georgia for Javelin Missiles and Command Launch Units pending final contract approval from the U.S. Congress.
The $75 million deal was announced Monday by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, calling for the sale of 410 FGM-148 Javelin Missiles and 72 Javelin Command Launch Units. The Javelin is a man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile that uses an automatic infrared guidance tracker to hit its target after launch.
Congress was notified of the potential sale last Friday.
On Tuesday, Georgia's Deputy Defense Minister Lela Chikovani told the Azerbaijan Press Agency that Georgia will use the Javelin to increase its defense capacity, noting that the State Department's approval reinforces the "strong strategic relations between the U.S. and Georgia."
"The military equipment will serve to improve Georgia's defense capacity and will not be used against any country," Chikovani said.
The contract between the two countries also includes 10 basic skill trainers and up to 70 simulated rounds. State Department officials say the proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance of power in the region.
Defense contractors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractors on the contract with work on the project scheduled to take place in Orlando, Fla., and Tucson, Ariz. The missiles, however, are being provided from the U.S. Army's stock and future stock purchases, the State Department said.
Officials assess that there will be no adverse impact on U.S. military readiness as a result of this proposed sale.