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U.S. Projects More Than $46 Billion in Arms Exports in 2011

The U.S. Defense Department expects fiscal year 2011 arms exports to exceed $46 billion, driven by demand for aircraft and air-defense systems, a defense official said today.

“This fiscal year is forecast to be higher than ever -- higher than $46 billion,” said Richard Genaille, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, at the annual conference of the Navy League at National Harbor, Maryland.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s C-130J and Boeing Co.’s C-17 transport planes were “hot” items in demand by arms-buying nations, he said.

The C-17s, C-130Js, aerial drones, F-35 fighter jets and missile defense systems typify “new areas where we can expect to see growth over time” that keeps sales at as much as $40 billion over the next several years, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s $60 billion purchase of Chicago-based Boeing’s F-15 jets, helicopters, munitions and infrastructure improvements and the purchase by the United Arab Emirates of Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed’s proposed $6 billion Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system have been approved and are proceeding without delay, Genaille said.

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