What is the Foreign Military Sales Programme (US)?


The United States Department of Defence’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme facilitates sales of US arms, defence equipment, defence services, and military training to foreign governments.


The purchaser does not deal directly with the defence contractor; instead, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) serves as an intermediary, usually handling procurement, logistics, and delivery, often providing product support, training, and infrastructure construction (such as hangars, runways, utilities, etc.).

FMS is carried out with countries that are authorised to participate and is subject to approval based on the mechanism to procure services, a deposit in a US trust fund or appropriate credit, and approval to fund services. On any given day, DSCA is managing “14,000 open foreign military sales cases with 185 countries,” the DSCA director Lieutenant General Charles Hooper explained at the Brookings Institution in June 2019.

Some US Air Force (USAF) FMS programmes are assigned two-word code names beginning with the word PEACE, indicating oversight by USAF headquarters. The second word in these codenames is often chosen to reflect some facet of the customer. Codenames appear in capital letters.

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