The United States Department of State has approved a foreign military sale of Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM) to the United Kingdom at an estimated cost of $957.4m (£785m). 

The sale, which includes thousands of AGM-179A missiles and support elements, strengthens the UK’s defence capabilities. This move showcases the alliance between the two nations.

The proposed sale includes the transfer of three thousand Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles, specifically AGM-179A variants. Additionally, the package encompasses dummy missiles, technical assistance, publications, integration support, and various related elements of logistics and program support. While the price tag is substantial, the benefits for the United States and the United Kingdom are equally significant.

At its core, this FMS aligns with the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States. It shows a commitment to bolstering the security of a NATO ally. The United Kingdom, which contributes to European political stability, will receive these Joint Air-to-Ground-Missiles to enhance its defence capabilities.

The acquisition of JAGMs is expected to fortify the United Kingdom’s ability to address contemporary and future threats. This capability will play a role in strengthening homeland defence and deterring regional challenges, showing the importance of the UK’s and the US’s transatlantic partnership as it emphasises cooperation and strategic coordination between the two nations.

According to GlobalData’s “UK Defense Market 2022-2027” report, the US was the most significant share of the UK’s import market between 2017 and 2021 at 76.8%, with a value of $2.6bn. As the UK’s closest ally, it is unsurprising that the US has such a high import market share.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is the prime contractor for this sale.

In collaboration with Aerojet and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Lockheed Martin submitted a proposal for the US Army’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile programme, which was awarded in the fourth quarter of 2011. The JAGM aimed to replace older US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps air-to-surface missiles.

This approved sale shows a mutual commitment to strengthening national security and upholding the enduring alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom.