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Arms transfers and defense trade are important tools of U.S. foreign policy with potential long-term implications for regional and global security. For this reason, the United States follows a holistic approach, which weighs political, military, economic, nonproliferation, technology security, end use, and human rights factors to determine the appropriate provision of military equipment and the licensing of direct commercial sales of defense articles to U.S. Allies and partners.

Given the multiyear implementation timeframes for many arms transfers and defense trade cases, the Department utilizes a three-year rolling average in reporting. Each proposed transfer is carefully assessed on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act and related policy and guidance. Major defense transfers and sales are also subject to Congressional notification.

Foreign Military Sales:

The three-year rolling average of State Department-authorized government-to-government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases implemented by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency for FY2019-FY2021 was $47 billion.

Examples of FMS cases notified to Congress in FY2021 include: Australia – AH-64E Apache Helicopters ($3.5 billion), Israel – CH-53K Helicopters ($3.4 billion), India – P-8I Aircraft ($2.42 billion); Philippines – F-16 Block 70/72 Aircraft ($2.43 billion), Germany – P-8A Aircraft ($1.77 billion), Canada – Aegis Combat System ($1.3 billion), Australia – Heavy Armored Combat Systems ($1.685 billion), and Australia – MQ-9B UAS ($1.65 billion). FMS sales notified to Congress  are listed.

FY2020 FY2021
FMS Three-Year Rolling Average $53.9B $47B
Total Value of Implemented FMS Cases $50.78B $34.81B
Direct Commercial Sales:

The three-year rolling average of privately contracted Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) authorizations issued by the State Department for FY2019-FY2021 was $114.1 billion. The total authorized value for FY2021 is $103.4 billion, which includes the value of hardware, services, and technical data authorized from exports, reexports, and retransfer.

Examples of major DCS Congressional Notifications (CNs) in FY2021 include Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, and the Republic of Korea – F-135 aircraft engines ($5.05 billion); Japan – F-15J Super Interceptor aircraft ($4.5 billion); Republic of Korea – F100 aircraft engines ($2 billion); Israel – JDAM and SDB munitions ($735 million); and Spain – Aegis Weapon System for the F110 program ($610 million).

At the end of FY2021, 13,927 entities were registered with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to conduct defense trade activities, which is a slight increase from FY2020

FY2020 FY2021
DCS Three-Year Rolling Average $125.2B $114.1B
Total Licenses Adjudicated 28,800 23,757
Total Value of Approved Cases $124.3B $103.4B
Combined Total:

The three-year rolling average for the combined FY2021 total of FMS and DCS cases was $161.1 billion.

FY2020 FY2021
FMS + DCS Three-Year Rolling Average $179.1B $161.1B

Current year numbers are not predictive of future year sales, which may increase or decrease due to several factors, including fluctuating foreign defense budgets, regional security issues, and ongoing changes to defense trade licensing jurisdiction resulting in changes in technology and export controls.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM

U.S. Department of State

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