US ap­proves $3.2b sale of Boe­ing P-8A pa­trol planes to UK

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

NEW YORK: The U.S. gov­ern­ment has ap­proved the sale of up to nine Boe­ing Co (BA.N) P-8A Po­sei­don mar­itime pa­trol planes to Bri­tain in a deal val­ued at up to $3.2 bil­lion, the U.S. De­fense Depart­ment said Fri­day.

The Pen­tagon's De­fense Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (DSCA), which over­sees for­eign arms sales, no­ti­fied Congress about the po­ten­tial sale on Thurs­day. Law­mak­ers now have 15 days to block the sale al­though such ac­tion is un­likely given close ties be­tween the United States and the UK. The pro­posed sale will en­hance Bri­tain's ca­pa­bil­i­ties to pro­vide na­tional de­fense and con­trib­ute to NATO and coali­tion op­er­a­tions, DSCA said in a state­ment. It said the deal was a top pri­or­ity for Bri­tain.

Bri­tain an­nounced its in­ten­tion to buy the sub­marine­hunt­ing pa­trol planes in Novem­ber as part of a five-year plan that will in­crease spend­ing by 12 bil­lion pounds ($16.96 bil­lion) to 178 bil­lion pounds ($251.60 bil­lion) over the next decade. At the time, Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron said the planes would help the UK pro­tect its nu­clear de­ter­rent and fill a gap left by a much-crit­i­cized de­ci­sion to scrap the Nim­rod spy-plane pro­gram in 2010.

DSCA said Bri­tain had re­tained core skills in mar­itime pa­trol and re­con­nais­sance fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of the Nim­rod air­craft through per­son­nel ex­change pro­grams that have left UK forces work on the U.S. Navy P-8A air­craft. Ad­di­tional con­trac­tors on the deal in­clude Vi­aSat Inc (VSAT.O), Rock­well Collins Inc (COL.N), Spirit Aerosys­tems Hold­ings Inc (SPR.N), Raytheon Co (RTN.N), Northrop Grum­man Corp (NOC.N) and Har­ris Corp (HRS.N) and General Elec­tric Co (GE.N), the agency said.

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