Home Americas US tallies $175.08B in arms sales in FY20

US tallies $175.08B in arms sales in FY20

US Air Force file photo of an F-35A aircraft

The US state department has authorized $175.08 billion worth of foreign military sales over the last fiscal year, marking a slight increase over the last year.

According to the department, arms exports (including both commercial and government-managed) rose by 2.8 percent from $170.09 billion to $175.08 billion. The state department said the rise coincided with efforts by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and interagency partners under the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy to comprehensively reform and modernize the arms transfer process.

Earlier this year, the state department also introduced a new policy that allows for more sales of armed drones to international partners.

Worth noting is that the $175 billion figure includes approved sales which do not have to be eventually finalized. Estimated values of proposed arms sales are also subject to change.

Nevertheless, the three-year rolling average of state department-authorized government-to-government foreign military sales (FMS) cases implemented by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency is a good indicator of growth or decline.

The average rose to $54 billion in FY 20 from $51 billion in FY 19. Major implemented cases in FY 20 include a $23.11 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft sale to Japan, alongside $4.5 billion for the modernization of F-15J fighters. Other major deals include Morocco’s $4.25 billion AH-64E helicopter buy, F-35B fighters for Singapore and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft for France.

The value of department-authorized commercial export licenses via direct commercial sales (DCS) totaled $124.3 billion in FY 20, up from $114.7 billion in FY 19, representing an 8.4 percent increase. The total value covers authorizations of hardware, defense services, and technical data.