WASHINGTON — The Army is doing big business abroad, raking in $20 billion in foreign military sales in fiscal 2015, according to the commander of Army Materiel Command.
Foreign countries "know it works, they know that we have quality assurance, that we provide the total package, that we are there with them for training and training their forces with the global supply chain to help sustain and maintain their equipment at such time when it needs to be reset, we can bring that back … we can reset that equipment and give that back to the most modern and refurbished state," Via explained.
While the Army FMS sales have been better than predicted in the last two years, its FY16 projections are based on international budgets.
"Believe it or not, a lot of our partner nations are in the same crunch as we are," Heidi Shyu, the Army's acquisition executive, said. "Their budgets are also coming down, so it's anticipated their priorities also change, so it's just an estimate."
In the Middle East, Via added, "what we are seeing is a decrease or slow down and I think that is impacted by the price of oil," which has gone down significantly. But, Via has observed an uptick in sales from Eastern Europe and in the Pacific region.
Via noted that the Army entered its third quarter in FY15 with $14 billion in sales and saw a dramatic jump to $20 billion in the last quarter "based on a couple of large buys."
The AMCOM commander said "70 plus" countries are at the AUSA show this year interested in doing business with the Army.
Shyu noted the Army's best sellers abroad tend to be helicopters and missiles and Via added the Patriot air and missile defense system has seen a lot of business.
The pair of Army leaders would not go into details on what kinds of business the service was doing in FMS in Iraq, but said "there is a multitude in the pipeline."
* Due to incorrect information that was received, the FY14 figure was updated at 5:18 p.m. ET Tuesday.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.