The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced US$55.4 billion worth of sales for the 2019 fiscal year, marking continued growth for the global defence industry.
This total increases the three-year rolling average to US$51 billion, demonstrating continued strength in the sales of US defence articles and services to allies and foreign partners.
DSCA Director Army Lieutenant General Charles Hooper said, "Allies and partners buy from the United States because we sell the world’s most advanced defence systems. Through the uniquely American approach to security co-operation, we also ensure our allies and partners have all the necessary training, education and institutional capacity to effectively employ and sustain the equipment we provide."
Over the last three years, DSCA has participated in a robust, US government-wide effort to reform various elements of the security cooperation process to ensure that US government and defence industry remain competitive in the global market.
In 2018, DSCA completed a review of the contract administration surcharge, which is applied to each foreign military sales (FMS) case to pay for FMS contract quality assurance, management and audits. As a result of the review, DSCA anticipates lowering the rate from 1.2 per cent to 1.0 per cent, which will reduce the overall cost of FMS procurements.
In addition to reducing costs, DSCA also focused on developing more competitive financing options so allies and partners can align FMS procurements with national budgetary and fiscal cycles. In 2020, DSCA will issue policy changes regarding the development of FMS payment schedules and calculation of termination liability.
"DSCA and the implementing agencies continue to work hard to improve our responsiveness – as it relates to cost, speed and capability – while maintaining the transparency, integrity and long-term commitment to our allies and partners," LTGEN Hooper added.
DSCA-reported fiscal year 2019 arms sales include US$48.25 billion funded by partner nations; $3.67 billion for cases funded by Department of State’s Title 22 grant assistance programs such as Foreign Military Financing and the Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative; as well as $3.47 billion for cases funded under Department of Defense Title 10 grant assistance programs such as Section 333 train and equip and the Afghan Security Forces Fund.
As part of its ongoing security co-operation reform efforts, DSCA has continued to improve DOD efforts to focus US taxpayer-funded assistance on the right partners, with the right activities, at the right time to address shared objectives and to enhance planning and synchronisation between DOS and DOD grant assistance programs.
DSCA developed a methodology that better aligns assistance resources with US strategy and improves long-term assistance planning.
To this end, DSCA co-chaired the inaugural Joint Security Sector Assistance Review to synchronise DOS and DOD grant assistance activities.
LTGEN Hooper said, "DSCA and the security co-operation community are emerging from an intense period of reform. That is not to say that we are finished improving as a community, rather quite the opposite. We are establishing a persistent and enduring effort that will drive the evolution of the American approach to security co-operation. I am excited for what 2020 has in store."