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January 17, 2022

US approves sale of MQ-9 communications sensor suite to France

The total estimated cost of the FMS and associated equipment stands at $88m.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of MQ-9 Communications Intelligence Sensor Pod Suites to France.

Approved by the State Department, the FMS includes associated equipment and is estimated to be worth $88m.

Under the sale package, France has requested to buy eight Communications Intelligence Sensor Pod Suites, expanding upon the five suites in the original $71m FMS.

The sale package also includes ground handling equipment, spare parts, accessors, cryptographic devices, and other related equipment.

Services such as engineering, technical and other associated elements of logistical and programme support were also requested by France.

According to the DSCA, the sale is expected to support US interests overseas and enhance France’s capability to meet existing and future threats by ensuring the French Air and Space Force’s operational readiness.

DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Nato ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”

BAE Systems will serve as the prime contractor of the FMS while General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will support system integration.

France’s MQ-9 aircraft jet provides intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities that support coalition operations.

Earlier this month, France requested the MQ-9 follow-on contractor logistics support sale package from the US. The FMS is estimated to cost $300m.

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