US DoD May Buy Weapons In Advance For Partner Nations

FMS sales of U.S. weapons to foreign nations is projected to exceed $46 billion in fiscal year 2011, which ends Sept. 30. Equipment includes Lockheed Martin [LMT] C-130Js transport planes, Boeing [BA] C-17 cargo haulers, and Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, as well as drone aircraft, missile-defense systems, and intelligence, and surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment.

The Pentagon is considering buying U.S. weapon systems in advance that it anticipates partner nations will request in the future. Richard Genaille, deputy director of the Pentagon‟s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), speaking at the Navy League‟s Sea Air Space exposition, said his office is considering several ways to make its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) efforts “more responsive and more anticipatory.”

One of the things DSCA is doing is “trying to find a way to buy things in advance,” he said. A law dating back to the early 1980s called the Special Defense Acquisition Fund might help. “We‟re looking at that as a way to purchase things in advance so that we can use the current processes that we have for acquisition, use them in a way that we anticipate partner requirements and (U.S. combatant command) COCOM
requirements…in advance so that they‟re ready to go when the requirement hits,” Genaille said.

The advance-buying initiative is one of four such FMS reform plans DSCA started last summer that are not officially approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and is part of a security-cooperation-reform initiative that is looking at how the Pentagon can “influence policy more effectively in our part of foreign-military sales and security cooperation.”

DSCA, as part of the FMS-related reforms, is sending out inter-agency teams of Pentagon and State Department officials to work directly with the combatant commanders and partner nations, to try to predict future FMS capability requirements. A small working group that is trying to ascertain what the broad FMS requirements might be for equipment, and then develop broad-based policies and guidelines that can make DSCA‟s systems faster once the requests arrive.

from Defense Daily

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