Updated: January 2001
From January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2000, the Pentagon reported to Congress proposed government-to-government conventional arms transfer agreements with 25 countries worth a minimum of $11.6 billion.1
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.2 Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 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 Defense Department's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions.
The 2000 total is significantly less than the $20.78 billion in arms sales to 19 countries proposed in 1999, but that figure was bolstered by several countries seeking advanced aircraft, as well as a possible $4.2 billion deal with South Korea for advanced versions of the Patriot anti-missile system.
Saudi Arabia led all prospective buyers in 2000 with $3.18 billion in requested arms, and Taiwan ranked second with proposed buys totaling $1.87 billion. Together, the top five prospective weapons buyers—Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Israel ($1.6 billion), Egypt ($1.17 billion), and Italy ($915 million)—accounted for 75 percent of the value of the proposed arms deals. The Near East led all regions in prospective buys, totaling approximately $6.2 billion in possible deals. This total does not include the United Arab Emirates' estimated $6.4 billion contract signed on March 5, 2000 with Lockheed Martin for 80 F-16C/D fighter aircraft, which was concluded as a commercial deal between the company and the foreign government and not as a sale by the U.S. government through the Pentagon. Seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region accounted for $2.8 billion of the proposed sales, while a dozen European countries sought weapons valued at $2.6 billion.
The Top 3 Recipients of Proposed Arms Deals
From January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2000
500 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
Continuation of contractor maintenance and training technical services, spare and repair parts, support equipment, modification facilities, and labor to accomplish programmed depot maintenance on the F-15 aircraft.
Continuation of U.S. Air Force and contractor technical services, spare and repair parts, support equipment and simulators in support of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 aircraft.
Continuation of U.S. supported effort to modernize the Saudi Arabian National Guard to include, among other items, 1,827 TOW 2A missiles, advanced tactical communication systems, and 132 Light Armored Vehicles.
Items needed for conversion of the TPS-43F air surveillance radar to the TPS-75V configuration.
162 HAWK Intercept Aerial guided missiles.
48 AN/ALQ-184 electronic countermeasures pods.
39 sets of Pathfinder/Sharpshooter (Lantirn derivatives) pods.
146 M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers, 79 M2 machine guns, six M88A2 recovery vehicles, 160 AN/PVS-7B Night Vision Goggles, and advanced tactical communication systems.
200 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles and 292 LAU-129 missile launchers.
71 RGM-84L Harpoon missiles, six Harpoon training missiles, and 10 Harpoon Shipboard Launcher Command Launch Control Sets.
Follow-on phase of the Improved Mobile Subscriber Equipment communication system.
Services for construction of two infantry training bases and a storage and logistics base for a reserve armored division.
41 AGM-142D air-to-ground missiles with data links.
241,000 M107 high explosive 155mm projectiles and publications.
57 AIM-120B Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
14 non-MDE Beech King Air B2000CT/T fixed wing aircraft.
JP-8 aviation jet fuel.
8 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, 10 AN/APG-78 AH-64D Longbow Fire Control Radar and configuration of 70 M272 Hellfire missile launchers to M299 version.
35 UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters.
Assisted by Jonathan Weiss
This register does not necessarily reflect finalized transactions and therefore is most useful in demonstrating trends in the type of weapons systems the United States is willing to sell, to whom it will sell, and the costs involved.
1. The proposed German buy of HARM missiles could total $50 million or $250 million depending on whether Germany acquires the B or C model. In addition, no value or quantity was declared for Australia's possible purchase of AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, but notifications are required for sales equaling or exceeding $14 million. For the purpose of this fact sheet, the minimum values of $50 million for the proposed German missile buy and $14 million for the possible Australian acquisition were assumed in calculating the total value of proposed U.S. FMS sales during the period.
2. 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." Like FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand).
Sources: Department of Defense, Department of State, ACA