France plans to buy some $88 million in intelligence equipment from the United States, with the State Department authorizing the possible sale of eight high-tech drone surveillance systems.
“This sale proposal will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to enhance the security of a NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the Pentagon’s Security and Defense Cooperation Agency said in a statement Friday.
While Congress must give the green light before the deal can move forward, the military has argued that the sale of eight sensor modules for the MQ-9 Reaper drone would be “Improving France’s ability to deal with current and future threats” and ensure “the operational readiness of the Air and Space Force”.
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The possible sale comes a week after the State Department approved another $300 million deal with France to “follow-up contractor logistics support” for the MQ-9 drone, as well as “aircraft components, spare parts and accessories” and simulation software, among others
France received its first order for 16 MQ-9 Reapers in August 2013, spending some $1.5 billion, and conducted its first operational flights with the unmanned craft a few months later.
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