US DSCA Issues a Flurry of International Arms Sale Notifications
Saudi Arabia is not the only country requesting arms, upgrades, or services from the USA lately. Last Thursday and Friday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a flurry of notifications that included purchases by Singapore in Asia; by Bahrain, Jordan, and UAE/Dubai in the Middle East (bringing the region’s total arms purchases to $35 billion since December 2005); and by Poland, Spain and The Netherlands in Europe. These purchases total up to $1.86 billion, and include helicopters, UAV/UAS systems, engines, F-16 pilot training at bases in the USA for two countries, and upgrades to armored personnel carriers.
Note that these notifications mean that contracts will be concluded for the requests, unless the US Congress successfully intervenes to block specific sales within a 30-day period.
Singapore: Because space is at something of a premium in Singapore, that country trains its F-16C/D pilots at Luke Air Force Base, AZ in the USA. They are buying continuation of that PEACE CARVIN program, and support for F-16C/D aircraft which includes: 12 AIM-9 Sidewinder coolant bottles, 105,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition, aircraft modifications kits, maintenance, participation in joint training exercises, fuel and fueling services, supply support, spare/repair parts, support equipment, and other support and training required. The contract value is $301 million, and there is no prime contractor as services are provided by the US Air Force in conjunction with RSDF personnel. See full DSCA release [PDF ]. As this MINDEF article notes, Singapore’s F-16 fleet is increasingly weighted toward the 2-seat F-16D Block 52+ strike variant.
The Middle East
Defense-Aerospace notes that these purchases bring the total value of arms purchases by Persian Gulf states since December 2005 to over $35 billion. This amount, which includes only deals that have been announced or otherwise made public, is divided between the United States ($11 billion), France (over $10 billion) and the United Kingdom (about $13 billion). It adds that France is negotiating additional deals with Saudi Arabia estimated to be worth upwards of $6 billion, and possibly well upwards of that figure. Their report includes a chart of the various sales.
Bahrain: 9 of the latest model UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters with engines, 2 spare T-700-GE-701D turbine engines, and full support. Contract value up to $252 million; contractors will be United Technologies’ subsidiary Sikorsky, and General Electric. See full DSCA release [PDF format]
Jordan: Refurbishment/sustainment of 1,000 M113A1 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) to M113A2-Jordan configuration. This will include various upgraded conversion kits: diesel engines, transmission upgrades and overhaul, differential conversions, suspension upgrades, cooling system upgrades, and drive train upgrades; spare and repair parts; and support. Contract value up to $156 million; the contractor will be BAE Land Systems & Armaments in Santa Clara, CA. See full DSCA release [PDF]. Jordan has already upgraded its M113 vehicle camouflage to a digital-fractal pattern.
UAE/Dubai: 26 of the latest model UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with engines, 4 spare T-700-GE-701D turbine engines, plus full support. Contract value up to $808 million; contractors will be United Technologies’ subsidiary Sikorsky, and General Electric. See full DSCA release [PDF]
Poland: 2 Shadow 200 RQ-7B UAV systems. Each system consists of 4 UAVs, 1 spare UAV, a ground control station and terminals, SINCGARS radio communications and other command/crypto equipment, a GPS system, and one launcher plus all support and training. Poland is also buying 14 model M1152 HMMWVs with field up-armoring capability as part of this purchase, to serve as the transportation & carrying system. Contract value up to $73 million; the prime contractor will be AAI Corporation in Hunt Valley, MD. Poland intends to use the UAV systems in support of European Union Brigades and North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations; the lessons learned by the Shadow 200 operators in the USA’s 101st Airborne may be of interest. See full DSCA release [PDF]
Spain: 43 T55-GA-714A Turbine Engines, modification and fielding kits. These will be used as engine upgrades for Spain’s CH-47 Chinook fleet; each heavy-lift helicopter uses 2 T55 family engines to power its twin rotors, which will also power the USA’s new CH-47F model. Spain’s machines will not be part of the CH-47F program, however. The contract’s value could be as high as $73 million; the contractor is Honeywell International of Phoenix, AZ. See full DSCA release [PDF]
The Netherlands: The Dutch obviously think the bright folks in Singapore are on to something. They’re also a bit cramped on space, and are looking to establish a Continental United States (CONUS)-based Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Formal Training Unit (FTU) in operations and tactics at Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base, OH. Purchases will include: 130 Laser Guided Training rounds, 150,000 20mm Target Practice training bullets, 3,750 BDU-33 low-drag training bombs, 875 MK-106 high-drag training bombs, pilot training, JP-8 fuel, air refueling support, base start up, base operating support, facilities, and other related services and support. The estimated cost is $200 million, and there is no prime contractor. The U.S. Air Force will provide program management while the Ohio Air National Guard will provide instruction, flight operations, maintenance support, and facilities. See full DSCA release [PDF].