The United States is headed for a record-breaking year for foreign military sales, thanks to a $29.4 billion sale of Boeing-made F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, according to Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.
So far in 2012, the United States has finalized sales totaling $50 billion and there are more than three months left in the fiscal year, Shapiro told reporters on a conference call today.
This is in comparison to 2011, when the United States sold $30 billion in foreign military sales, which are conducted government-to-government.
Shapiro called the sale to Saudi Arabia “very significant,” but said the sale of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Japan is also partly responsible for the uptick.
The sale to Saudi Arabia, which was finalized at the end of December, includes 84 new aircraft and the modernization of 70 existing aircraft as well as missiles, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics.
“It is too early to say what 2013 is going to look like,” Shapiro said, but one country where the State Department is working hard to close deals is in India, where a $1.4 billion sale of 22 Boeing-made AH-64 Apache helicopters is being finalized.
For direct commercial sales (DCS), where companies can sell directly to foreign governments, the numbers are also high.
Last year, the State Department received and reviewed more than 83,000 DCS cases, the most ever, Shapiro said.