Foreign Military Sales

The U.S. Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program enables sales of U.S. defense equipment, defense services, arms, and military training to foreign governments. The purchaser does not deal directly with the defense contractor; instead, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) serves as an arbitrator, usually handling logistics, procurement, and delivery and often providing product training, support, and infrastructure construction such as runways, hangars, and utilities. The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) often accepts FMS equipment on behalf of the US government.

FMS is based on countries being authorized to participate, cases as the mechanism to procure services, and a deposit in a US Trust Fund or appropriate credit and approval to fund services.

Some USAF FMS programs are assigned two-word codenames beginning with the word PEACE, indicating oversight by USAF Headquarters. Codenames appear in all capital letters. The second word in these codenames is often chosen to reflect some feature of the customer, such as MARBLE for Israel or ONYX for Turkey. No partner nation has yet succeeded in applying strict schedule clauses to a FMS program.

The Foreign Military Sales Act of 1968, Pub.L. 90–629, 82 Stat. 1320-2, enacted October 22, 1968, was additional legislation to the Arms Control and Disarmament Act of 1961 and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The Act discloses the United States commitment and sustainment to a world free from the dangers of arms and the menace of war.

The Foreign Military Sales Act supported the policy of disarmament agreements, regional arms control, and the discouragement of arm races. The United States law openly declares the sales of defense services and military articles to benign countries with the economic means to maintain and support a military force of suitable strength. The H.R. 15681 bill authorized the sales of military equipment by the United States government. The H.R. 15681 legislation was passed by the 90th U.S. Congressional session and endorsed by the 36th President of the United States Lyndon Johnson on October 22, 1968.

The Foreign Military Sales Act established authority for United States foreign military sales authorizations and military export controls. The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program is a form of security assistance authorized by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and a fundamental tool of U.S. foreign policy.

The Foreign Military Sales program is a form of security assistance authorized by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) through which the United States may sell defense articles and services to foreign countries and international organizations. Under FMS, the US Government and a foreign government enter into a government-to-government sales agreement. The international agreement is called a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA). The State Department determines which countries will have programs, and the Defense Department executes the program.

For more information about the foreign military sales program, contact Malyszek & Malyszek for your free initial consultation.