US government clears way for spy gear sale to France — Analysis

France is trying to buy some $88 million in intelligence gear from america, with the State Division authorizing the attainable sale of eight high-tech drone surveillance programs.

“This proposed sale will assist the international coverage objectives and nationwide safety aims of america by serving to to enhance the safety of a NATO ally that is a crucial power for political stability and financial progress in Europe,” the Pentagon’s Protection Safety Cooperation Company mentioned in an announcement on Friday.

Whereas Congress should give the inexperienced gentle earlier than the deal can go forward, the army argued that the sale of eight sensor pods for the MQ-9 Reaper drone would “enhance France’s functionality to fulfill present and future threats” and guarantee “the operational readiness of the French Air and Area Power.”

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The attainable sale comes one week after the State Division authorised one other $300 million deal to France for “follow-on contractor logistics assist” for the MQ-9 drone, in addition to “plane elements, spares and equipment” and simulator software program, amongst different issues

France obtained its first order for 16 MQ-9 Reapers again in August 2013, spending some $1.5 billion, and performed its first operational flights with the unmanned craft simply months later.

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