US approves $7.2 billion in military aircraft, drones to European allies

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 10.4.2018 14:07

The US State Department has announced on 4 and 5 April that it approved a $2.9 billion sale of 14 F16V with afferent equipment and hundreds of pieces of ammunition and air-to-air missiles to Slovakia, a $1.3 billion deal for the sale of 17 CH-47F cargo helicopters to Spain, and a $2.5 billion deal for the sale of four MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems to Germany.

The purchase of fourth-generation fighter jets by Slovakia is meant to replace the operationally expired fleet of 12 MiG-29s, last upgraded in 2008, and not interoperable with NATO allies forces. Germany has decided to purchase the MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance drones after in 2013 it cancelled its previous Eurohawk-based attempt to establish such a fleet, as that system was deemed inoperable in European airspace due to lack of anti-collision systems. The Triton deal would also include the building of one mission control station, one main operating base, and one forward operating base. The US authorities have motivated their decision to approve this deal stating that it advances US foreign policy and national security goals by supporting security, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of Germany who is deemed a major political and economic power in Europe, and a US ally in ensuring global peace and stability.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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