WASHINGTON — As the 114th Congress comes to a close, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has cleared five notifications of weapon sales to Congress, including Chinook helicopters for Saudi Arabia, Apache helicopters for the United Arab Emirates and TOW missiles for Morocco.
If completed, the five sales would have a cumulative total of $7.9 billion. More notably, today pushes DSCA's notification total to just less than $41.8 billion through the first two-and-a-half months of fiscal 2017.
While notifications to Congress are not guarantees of sales, that number already dwarfs the $33.6 billion sales figure that DSCA announced it completed in fiscal 2016, and it would mean the US is on track to easily shatter the record $46.6 billion in sales cleared in 2015.
That massive number for the year is driven primarily by two sizable sales of fighter jets to Qatar (F-15s, for $21.1 billion) and Kuwait (F/A-18E/F models, for $10.1 billion), but days such as Thursday stand on their own as good news for American arms makers.
The five sales notified to Congress include:
- Saudi Arabia has been cleared to purchase 48 CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters, produced by Boeing, as well as 112 engines, 58 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems, 48 M240H 7.62mm machine guns and other assorted equipment. The expected cost is $3.51 billion, primarily going to Boeing and Honeywell.
- The UAE has been cleared to purchase 28 AH-64E remanufactured Apache Attack Helicopters and nine new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, along with assorted parts and equipment. The estimated sale total would be $3.5 billion, with Boeing and Lockheed Martin as the primary contractors. While offsets will be part of the final package, the notification says the "offsets are negotiated directly between the Original Equipment Manufactures or other vendors and the UAE government and details are not known at this time."
- Morocco has been cleared to purchase 1,200 TOW 2A Radio Frequency Missiles with associated support, with a total estimated sale value of $108 million. Raytheon will perform the work.
- Qatar has been cleared to procure logistics support contracts for eight C-17 transport aircraft, replacing the current sustainment contract which ends at the close of fiscal 2017. The estimated cost is $700 million, with Boeing performing the work.
- Qatar was also cleared to buy four spare F117-PW-100 engines and assorted equipment to support its C-17 fleet. The total cost there is estimated at $81 million, with Boeing as the primary contractor. As to offsets, DSCA notes: "Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor."
Thursday’s notifications follow a batch released Dec. 5, when DSCA notified Congress of three other contracts worth an estimated $939 million. Congress has 30 days to review and weigh in on these potential sales. And to fit in that window before the session ends, the State Department would need to get notifications in this week.