WASHINGTON — The State Department has approved the sale of a large tranche of precision-guided munitions for its NATO partners, the first such sale through a new process where NATO acts as the lead buyer for various militaries.
If the sale is approved by Congress, the weapons, worth an estimated $231 million, would be sold to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency and then distributed to Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain.
In January 2015, US Navy Vice Adm. J.W. Rixey, head of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) wrote in a memo that his organization was launching a two-year pilot program to see if weapons could be sold directly to NATO in order to allow partner nations to pool their resources and find cost efficiencies.
This precision-guided munitions sale would represent the first such sale, a State Department spokesman confirmed.
According to a notice posted on the website of DSCA, the potential sale would include "five hundred (500) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Guidance Kits, KMU-556 F/B; forty (40) JDAM Guidance Kits, KMU-557 F/B; one thousand five hundred (1,500) JDAM Guidance Kits, KMU-572 F/B; one thousand (1,000) MAU 210 E/B Computer Control Groups for 1,000-lb. Enhanced Paveway IIs; three hundred (300) MAU 210 E/B Computer Control Groups for GBU-49s; one thousand twenty-five (1,025) MAU 169 L/B Computer Control Groups for GBU-12s; one thousand three hundred fifty (1,350) Joint Programmable Fuzes, FMU-152 A/B; sixty (60) Bomb Fin Assembly and Airfoil Group 650-MXU K/B for GBU-12s; one thousand twenty-five (1,025) Bomb Fin Assembly and Airfoil Group, MXU-650 K/B AFG for GBU-12s."
Work will primarily be done at Boeing's facility in St Louis, Missouri, and Raytheon's Tucson, Arizona, location.
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.