Overseas sales of U.S.-made military equipment are likely to reach $60 billion this year, double the exports in 2008, according to a Pentagon official.
Richard Genaille, deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said today that foreign military sales reached $50 billion as of May 4, putting them on course to hit $60 billion by the end of the year.
Other nations are eager to buy U.S. exports such as fighter jets, attack helicopters and surveillance and reconnaissance equipment such as drones, Genaille said at a Bloomberg Government conference in Washington.
Defense companies are turning to overseas markets to make up some of the revenue they will lose as the Pentagon prepares for cuts of at least $450 billion in the next 10 years.
“Global sales is one way to offset this,” said Marion Blakey, president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association, who also spoke at the conference.
While expanding exports will help, Blakey said such sales won’t be enough to make up for U.S. cuts.
“The market is not that large abroad to counter these kinds of major changes,” she said.
“That’s not the panacea,” said Representative James Moran, a Virginia Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.