Thursday, August 28, 2008

Foreign Military Sales in 2007

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Federation of American Scientists' Arms Sales Monitoring Program, we now have data about weapons and equipment that the U.S. government sold to the rest of the world through the Foreign Military Sales program in 2007.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is one of two programs through which military equipment is sold from the United States to the rest of the world. FMS is the means through which the U.S. government sells items directly to other governments. U.S. corporations can sell directly to other governments as well; those sales are licensed by another program, Direct Commercial Sales (DCS).

A total of $348,056,000 in military equipment was sold to Latin America and the Caribbean through FMS in 2007. Another $846,274,296 were licensed that year through DCS, but the U.S. government does not track how many of those licenses end up being fulfilled and resulting in actual equipment deliveries.

The FMS figure maintains levels reached in 2005 and 2006, when Chile took delivery on high-tech F-16 fighter planes. Purchases from Colombia are the reason why the regional total remains high. Colombia bought $231,384,000 worth of military equipment through FMS in 2007, almost exactly two-thirds of the regional total.

Here is how FMS deliveries have evolved in the region between 1996 and 2007.

And here is how all arms sales, from FMS and DCS combined, have behaved during that time period. Keep in mind that a significant portion of the DCS licenses have not ended up as actual deliveries of equipment.

Finally, here are the top 10 types of items sold to the region through FMS in 2007:

1. Helicopter, UH-60: $148,712,000
2. Aircraft Spare Parts: $42,372,000
3. Aircraft Cargo C-130 Series: $29,805,000
4. Repair and Rehabilitation: $20,225,000
5. Other Weapons and Ordnance Equipment: $14,753,000
6. Other Services: $12,332,000
7. Logistics Management Exp: $8,070,000
8. Training: $6,992,000
9. Supply Operations: $5,522,000