The multi-million dollar deal still must be approved by US lawmakers
France is looking to purchase 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 proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Friday.
While Congress must give the green light before the deal can go ahead, the military argued that the sale of eight sensor pods for the MQ-9 Reaper drone would “improve France’s capability to meet current and future threats” and ensure “the operational readiness of the French Air and Space Force.”
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The possible sale comes one week after the State Department approved another $300 million deal to France for “follow-on contractor logistics support” for the MQ-9 drone, as well as “aircraft components, spares and accessories” and simulator software, among other things
France received its first order for 16 MQ-9 Reapers back in August 2013, spending some $1.5 billion, and conducted its first operational flights with the unmanned craft just months later.