WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department cleared a trio of foreign military sales Monday, with an eye on arming some of America’s closest partners.
The potential sales, announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, include a package of SM-3 missiles for Japan at an estimated cost of $561 million, a tranche of AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles for Japan with an estimated cost of $63 million, and a package of precision-guided munitions kits for NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency, worth an estimated $320.5 million.
All told, the sales could combine for a net of $944.5 million for American firms. Raytheon is the primary contractor for the Japanese deals, and the co-primary with Boeing on the NATO agreement.
As with all DSCA announcements, the sales must pass through the Senate, at which point negotiations can begin; total quantities and dollar totals often change from the original DSCA announcement and final sale.
The SM-3 package for Japan includes eight Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B Missiles and 13 SM-3 Block 2A missiles. The Block 2A is jointly developed by Japan and the United States, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in charge of some components of the missile. October saw the second successful test intercept of a ballistic missile target using the SM-3 Block 2A. The AMRAAM request, meanwhile, covers 32 of the air-to-air weapons.
The NATO sale is coordinated through the Support and Procurement Agency, set up to allow NATO nations to jointly buy commonly used weapon systems. That procurement method was first used in 2016.
In this case, the weapons will be divided among Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland (not a NATO nation, but considered a trusted partner), Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The package contains 500 KMU-556 F/B Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Kits for GBU-31 2000-lbs; 40 KMU-557 F/B JDAM Kits for GBU-31 2000-lbs; 1,500 KMU-572 F/B JDAM Kits for GBU-38 500-lbs; 1,000 Munitions Adapter Unit (MAU)-210 F/B Enhanced Computer Control Groups (ECCGs) for GBU-48 1,000-lb EPII; 300 MAU-210 F/B ECCGs for GBU-49 500-lbs EPII; 300 MXU-650K/B AFGs for GBU-49 500-lbs EPII; 1,025 MAU-209 C/B or MAU-169 L/B CCGs for GBU-12 500 lbs Paveway II; 1,025 MXU-650 K/B AFGs for GBU-12 500 lbs Paveway II; and 4,365 Joint Programmable Fuzes.
More Japanese purchases
Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Department awarded contracts for other Japanese FMS procurements. On Nov. 16, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $489 million definitization and an increase-in-scope contract for Japan’s Global Hawk program. The contract provides for three RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30i air vehicles, each containing an enhanced integrated sensor suite payload, along with two ground control elements, spares, support and other elements, with work expected to be completed by September 2022.
This was followed by a $32 million contract awarded Nov. 19 to Northrop Grumman for long-lead items for Japan’s fifth E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. Japan has already contracted for four E-2Ds, and in September it was cleared to acquire nine more. These will likely replace 13 older E-2C Hawkeyes currently in service.
Japan also has four E-767 aircraft, based on the Boeing 767 airliner, operating in the airborne early warning role.
Mike Yeo in Melbourne, Australia, contributed to this report.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.