The State Department approved a possible $243 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) request to Spain for four MQ-9 Block 5 Aircraft and associated equipment, parts, and logistical support.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sale on Oct. 5.

The requested FMS would include major defense equipment (MDE) of four MQ-9 Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft; 20 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance Unit (EGI) (three per aircraft, and eight spares); two Mobile Ground Control Stations (MGCS); five Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (MTS-B) (one per aircraft, one spare); and five Synthetic Aperture Radar, Lynx AN/APY-8 (one per aircraft, one spare). The MDE cost is $80 million.

Armed MQ-9 Reaper Taxis Photo: U.S. Air Force
Armed MQ-9 Reaper Taxis
Photo: U.S. Air Force

The sale would also include a unique and common spares package, support equipment, United States Air Force (USAF) technical orders, country specific technical orders, contractor logistics support for two (or optional three) years, contractor provided aircraft components, spares, and accessories, personnel training, and other related elements of logistical and program support. These items combined with the MDE brings the total cost to $243 million.

The primary contractor would be General Atomics with other sole source requests identified in the Letter of Request as Raytheon [RTN] and L-3 Communications [LLL].

The purchaser requested offsets but any offset agreements are undetermined and would be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractor.

Spain would use this equipment for homeland security, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism activities, DSCA said in a statement.

The agency also highlighted how the MQ-9 capabilities would improve alliance capabilities and interoperability with the United States. “This proposed sale enhances the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability of the Spanish military in support of national, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), United Nations, and other coalition operations.  Commonality of ISR capabilities increases interoperability between U.S. and Spanish forces and provides a common interface with other MQ-9 NATO operators, including the United Kingdom, France, and Italy,” DSCA said.

Implementation of the FMS may require multiple trips by U.S. contractor representatives to Spain and potentially deployed locations to provide initial launch, recovery, and maintenance support.