SIMON KENT 21 Jul 2023

Europe Arms Race: U.S. Clears $2.9 Billion Sale of Air-to Air Missiles for Germany

The U.S. State Department approved an arms sale to Germany on Wednesday built around air-to-air missiles for the Luftwaffe worth an estimated $2.9 billion.

When completed the foreign military sale would see Germany receive up to 969 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles and related equipment for its air force, according to a July 19 news release by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which notified Congress of the department’s approval.

Defense News reports the potential deal also includes AIM-120 training missiles, a telemetry kit, spare parts and transportation support, among “other related elements of logistical and program support.”

The release also notes the agreement enhances Germany’s ability to “meet current and future threats by ensuring they have modern, capable air-to-air munitions.”

European governments have been approaching the U.S. government and defense contractors with a “shopping list of arms” ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Breitbart News reported.

The list includes drones, missiles, and missile defenses, as the conflict in Ukraine has driven “renewed demand for U.S. weaponry.”

Germany has previously inquired about systems to defend against ballistic missiles, as they near a deal for 35 F-35 jet fighters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Biden administration has given the go-ahead for a number of major arms deals with European allies in the past month amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, a country that neighbors several NATO members.

The Hill details among these agreements is a possible $605 million deal to sell 250 AMRAAMs to Sweden, a country that is currently attempting to join the alliance. That sale was announced on July 7 as the E.U. also works to meet demand for advanced battlefield weaponry.

That same day, the Pentagon also revealed an estimated $203 million agreement to sell France Hellfire missiles.

And on June 30, defense officials said the U.S. State Department had approved a potential $105 million deal to modernize 32 F-16 fighter jets for Romania.

Negotiations in which the actual cost and quantities of equipment will be finalized will only begin if Congress does not reject those potential sales.

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