MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft for Spain | World Defense

MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft for Spain


Staff member
Nov 25, 2014
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Spain for MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $243 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on October 5, 2015.

The Government of Spain requested a possible sale of:

Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

Four (4) MQ-9 Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft

Twenty (20) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance Unit (EGI) (3 per aircraft, and 8 spares)

Two (2) Mobile Ground Control Stations (MGCS)

Five (5) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (MTS-B) (1 per aircraft, 1 spare)

Five (5) Synthetic Aperture Radar, Lynx AN/APY-8 (1 per aircraft, 1 spare)

Also provided are a unique and common spares package, support equipment, United States Air Force (USAF) technical orders, country specific technical orders, Contractor Logistics Support for two (optional three) years, contractor provided aircraft components, spares, and accessories, personnel training, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated MDE cost is $80 million. The estimated total cost is $243 million.

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. The Spanish Air Force intends to use the MQ-9s for homeland security, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism operations. The proposed sale improves Spain's ability to meet current and future threats by providing improved ISR coverage that promotes increased battlefield situational awareness, anticipates enemy intent, augments combat search and rescue, and provides ground troop support.

Spain requests these capabilities to provide for the defense of its deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the United States. Spain will have no difficulty absorbing this additional capability.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. in San Diego, California. Other sole source requests identified in the Letter of Request are Raytheon Company in McKinney, Texas, and L-3 Communications Systems - West in Salt Lake City, Utah. The purchaser requested offsets. At this time, offset agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale may require multiple trips for U.S. contractor representatives to Spain and potentially deployed locations to provide initial launch, recovery, and maintenance support.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. All defense articles and services have been approved for release by the USAF foreign disclosure office.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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