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, human rights, economic, nonproliferation, technology security, and end use 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-FY2022 was $45.8 billion.

Examples of FMS cases notified to Congress in FY2022, which may not yet be implemented, include: Indonesia – F-15ID Aircraft ($13.9 billion); Greece – Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ($6.9 billion); Poland – M1A2 SEPV3 Main Battle Tank ($6.0 billion); Saudi Arabia – Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic Missiles (GEM-T) ($3.05 billion); Kuwait – National Advanced Surface-To-Air Missile System (NASAMS) ($3.0 billion); Egypt – CH-47F Chinook Helicopters ($2.6 billion); United Arab Emirates – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System ($2.245 billion); Egypt – C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft  ($2.2 billion); France – Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) And Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) ($1.3 billion).  Kuwait – Design and Construction of The Kuwait Ministry Of Defense Headquarters Complex ($1.0 billion).  Here is a list of FMS sales notified to Congress.

FY2021 FY2022  % Change
FMS Three-Year Rolling Average $47.08B $45.8B -2.7%
Total Value of Implemented FMS Cases $34.8B $51.9B +49.1%

Direct Commercial Sales:

The three-year rolling average of privately contracted Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) authorizations issued by the State Department for FY2020-FY2022 was $127.1 billion.  The total authorized value for FY2022 was $153.7 billion, which includes the value of hardware, services, and technical data authorized from exports, temporary imports, reexports, retransfers, and brokering.  This represents a 49% increase, up from $103.4 billion in FY2021.  The increase in authorized value from FY2021 was primarily due to authorizations adjudicated in support Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself from Russia’s unprovoked aggression.

Examples of major DCS Congressional Notifications (CNs) in FY2022 included: The Netherlands – Support for propulsion systems for F-35 aircraft and participation in the F-35 Global Spares Pool by the Netherlands Ministry of Defense ($850 million); Republic of Korea – F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force ($790 million); Japan – S-70 Helicopters for the Japan Ministry of Defense ($588 million); Saudi Arabia – Patriot Guided Enhanced Missile (GEM-T) for the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces ($432 million).

At the end of FY2022, 14,445 entities were registered with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to conduct defense trade activities, which is a slight increase from FY2021.

FY2021 FY2022 % Change
DCS Three-Year Rolling Average $114.2B $127.1B +11.3%
Total Licenses Adjudicated 23,757 22,138 -6.8%
Total Value of Approved Cases $103.4B $153.7B +48.6%

Combined Total:

The three-year rolling average for the combined FY2022 total of FMS and DCS cases was $173.0 billion.

FY2021 FY2022 % Change
FMS + DCS Three-Year Rolling Average $161.1B $173.0B +7.34%

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.

U.S. Department of State

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