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Europe

U.S. Approves $850 Million Sale Of Missiles And Rockets To Finland

M142 HIMARS

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Amid numerous aid packages for Ukraine, the U.S. government also authorized arms sales to several European allies, including deals with Finland for more than $850 million in sophisticated rockets and missiles.

The most recent deal with Finland on Monday includes 40 AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and guidance systems along with 48 AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons totaling $323.3 million, according to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

The DSCA said of the deal, “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a trusted partner, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”

Earlier this month, the State Department approved a $535 million sale to Finland for hundreds of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRs). The rockets can be launched from with the M270A1 MLRS or the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

Finland is not the only country receiving arms from the U.S., Ukraine has received at least 38 HIMARS launchers from the U.S. since Russia invaded the country in February.

In addition to Finland and Ukraine, Belgium is also to receive $380 million worth of AIM-120 air-to-air and related systems to keep its F-16 and F-35 fighter jets in “combat-ready status” according to the DSCA.

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Lithuania is also looking to broker a deal that would have the U.S. providing 8 HIMARS and multiple other munitions for $495 million. If approved, the deal would also require U.S. personnel to travel to Lithuania twice a year to conduct “program management reviews” and provide support. Although it still needs to be approved by Congress, the State Department approved the sale on November 9.

Meanwhile, Switzerland purchased 72 PAC-3 Segment Enhanced missiles for $700 million. Despite the country’s historical non-aligned status, the DSCA insisted that the deal would improve, “interoperability with US and NATO forces.”

With tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, many countries in the region have been looking to build up their munitions in recent months. Finland and Sweden have gone so far as to break with years of neutrality and apply to join NATO. While the status of both countries remains pending, both participate in joint military exercises with NATO member states and have close relationships with the U.S.

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