"I find hope in the work of long-established groups such as the Arms Control Association...[and] I find hope in younger anti-nuclear activists and the movement around the world to formally ban the bomb."

– Vincent Intondi
Professor of History, Montgomery College
July 1, 2020
Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements Notified to Congress from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 1998

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: January 1999

From January 1 to December 31, 1998, the Pentagon reported to Congress $12.115 billion of proposed government-to-government conventional arms transfer agreements with seventeen countries. Sixty percent ($7.32 billion) of the proposed sales are to states in the Middle East. This total does not include the announced purchase of 80 F-16C/D fighters by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on May 12 in a direct commercial sale valued at $5 billion. In 1997, the Pentagon notified Congress of $10.618 billion in proposed sales to eighteen countries.

Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of any proposed sale of : "major defense equipment," as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as "major defense equipment" that total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.1 Once notified, Congress has thirty calendar days (fifteen in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan and New Zealand) to block a sale by voting a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never exercised this authority. The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions.

Top 10 Recipients of Arms Deals Notified to Congress from January 1 to December 31, 1998

Total Value
$2.627 billion

64 AIM-120B Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) and three test missiles.

Patriot missile system equipment including three AN/MPQ-53 radar sets, three AN/MSQ-104 engagement control stations, three M983 tractors and nine M931A2 trucks.

16 HARPOON missiles with containers and spare and repair parts.

60 F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighters or 30 F-15I fighters.
United Arab Emirates
$2 billion
In support of the direct commercial sale of 80 F-16C/D fighters: 491 AIM-120B AMRAAMs, 267 AIM-9M ½ SIDEWINDER missiles and 80 SIDEWINDER training missiles, 163 AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation (HARM) missiles, 1,163 AGM-65D/G MAVERICK missiles and 20 training missiles, 52 AGM-84 HARPOON missiles, 2,252 MK-82 and 1,231 MK-84 general purpose bombs, 462 GBU-12 PAVEWAY II and 606 GBU-24 PAVEWAY III laser guided bomb kits and other assorted bombs and munitions.
$1.602 billion

160 AGM-114KBF HELLFIRE II missiles, 88 AGM-114K1 HELLFIRE II missiles, publications and logistic support.

1,322 STINGER-RMP Block 1 International missiles including 1,286 complete missile rounds without grip stocks, 36 lot acceptance missiles and 188 gripstock control group guided missile launchers.

200 AGM-65G MAVERICK missiles, 200 GBU-24 A/B bomb kits and missile launchers.

18 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 146 MLRS extended range rocket pods, 81 Army Tactical Missile System guided missiles, 11 M577 command post carriers, 162 M26 rockets, 94 SINCGARS radio systems, 60 AN/PVS-7B night vision goggles, 4 M984A1 and 24 M985 heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks.

6 new production E-2C Airborne Early Warning and Control mission systems as part of a purchase of either E-2C or C-130J airframe.

Lease/sale arrangement of 4 KIDD class guided missile destroyers, 62,000 20mm cartridges, 4,800 5"/54 projectiles, 64 anti-submarine rockets, 320 MK 36 Rapid Bloom Offboard Chaff, 32 HARPOON missiles, 48 MK 46 MOD 5 torpedoes and other related ammunition.

$1.296 billion

Three KNOX class frigates, weapons and ammunition to include one MK 15 PHALANX Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), one AN/SWG-1A HARPOON launcher, two sets of MK 36 MOD 5 Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures decoy launching system, 1,581 rounds of 5 inch ammunition and 30,000 rounds of 20mm tungsten cartridges for CIWS.

PATHFINDER/SHARPSHOOTER navigation and targeting pods for F-16A/B fighters.

61 Dual Mount STINGER launchers and 728 STINGER RMP missile rounds and 132 AN/VRC-91 export version radios.

58 HARPOON missiles and eight training missiles.

131 MK-46 MOD 5S torpedoes and spare parts.

Nine CH-47D Chinook helicopters with three spare engines.

$1.138 billion

Two FFG-7 PERRY class frigates, two currently leased FF 1052 KNOX class frigates.

42 HARPOON missiles and containers and upgrade modification kits for 20 SM-1 STANDARD missiles.

1,058 STINGER RMP Type III missiles less reprogrammable modules, 48 lot acceptance missiles, 50 completer AVENGER Systems, launch pods integrated on High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles, 50 AVENGER turrets, M3P machine guns and 50 STANDARD Vehicle Mounted Launchers.

F-16 Depot Level Maintenance Program.

Upgrade of six CH-47C Chinook helicopters to newer configuration and upgrade of 40 ALQ-131 Block I to Block II pods.

Saudi Arabia
$946 million

Upgrade of 1,500 AIM-9L missiles to 9M configuration and five sets of PATHFINDER/SHARPSHOOTER navigation and targeting pods.

Services for the continuation of the U.S. supported modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

Singapore $758 million Services related to pilot proficiency training and logistics support to include aircraft modifications and support equipment.

8 AH-64D Apache helicopters, 216 HELLFIRE II laser guided missiles, 9,120 Hydra-70 rockets and other support equipment.

$609 million

2 fully equipped Paladin artillery battalions to include 48 M109A6 self-propelled howitzers, 152 M2 machine guns, 18 M88A2 recovery vehicles 24 M113A3 battalion reconnaissance vehicles, 64 M9992A2 field artillery ammunition support vehicles and 261 SINCGARS radio systems.

1,057 SINCGARS radio systems.

South Korea
$273 million

12 MK 14 Weapon Direction Systems and 12 OT-134 Continuous Wave Illumination Transmitters.

112 MLRS extended range rocket pods with spare and repair parts.

500 TOW 2A missiles and 8 lot acceptance missiles.

$248 million

30 HARPOON missiles and spare and repair parts

3 FFG-7 PERRY class frigates and 8 currently leased FF 1052 KNOX class frigates and 20,000 rounds of 20mm cartridges.

The Arms Control Association maintains a register of all U.S. FMS sales notified to Congress by the Pentagon since January 1990. The register does not necessarily reflect finalized transactions, and therefore is most useful in demonstrating trends in the type of weapon systems the United States is willing to sell, to whom it will sell, and the values involved.


1. The President is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales of "major defense equipment" that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million and any items defined as "significant military equipment." As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within thirty calendar days of notification (fifteen in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than the data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F. Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1989-1996, Washington DC: The Library of Congress, p. 13). The annual "Section 655" report, prepared by the State Department and Defense Department for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses and their is no reporting requirement for actual deliveries after the initial license wins approval. During fiscal year 1997, the State Department approved commercial licenses that could result in over $24.7 billion in possible sales to more than 150 countries and territories. The State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement and reporting. [Back to text]

Sources: Department of Defense, Department of State, ACA