WASHINGTON ― The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to NATO member and ally Canada of four Lockheed Martin-made Aegis missile defense systems valued at up to $1.7 billion, the Pentagon announced Monday.

The Pentagon said the Aegis Combat Systems, AN/SPY-7 radars and other related equipment would help Ottawa deliver its first Aegis-capable Canadian Surface Combatant. That in turn would “significantly improve” Canada’s network-centric warfare capability for U.S. forces operating globally alongside Canada’s, the Pentagon said.

The radars on Canada’s next-generation frigate, selected for the surface combatant program, are expected to allow it to shoot at targets sensed and relayed by U.S. Navy assets. The ships will also be loaded with a 32-cell vertical launching system as well as deck-mounted launchers for Kongsberg and Raytheon Technologies’ Naval Strike Missile and launchers for torpedoes.

The potential deal is for four sets of the Aegis Combat System, four sets of AN/SPY-7 radars, three sets of the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, equipment, spare parts and technical support, the Pentagon said.

The prime contractor would be be Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems unit in Moorestown, New Jersey.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the sale Monday. However, notifications do not represent final sales; if Congress does not reject the potential sale, it goes into negotiations, which determine final quantities of equipment and costs.

“There are a significant number of other companies under contract with the U.S. Navy that will provide components, systems, and engineering services during the execution of this effort,” DSCA said in the announcement. “While the purchaser typically requests offsets, any offset agreement will be defined in future negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).”

Joe Gould was the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He had previously served as Congress reporter.

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