U.S. Foreign Military Sales Rebound To $50 Billion in Fiscal 2022


Credit: USAF

U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) rebounded to about $50 billion in fiscal 2022, driven largely by assistance to the Ukrainian military’s fight against Russia but also the world’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic and potential threats in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

U.S. government sales via the FMS program had been sliding since they reached $55.7 billion in 2018. Last year, FMS dropped to $34.8 billion, according to DSCA’s historical sales book.

But since February 2022, the U.S. has provided $17 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, James Hursch, director of the DSCA, told the Association of the U.S. Army Conference Oct. 10. “This is an unprecedented amount for us as a security cooperation agency,” Hursch said.

Looking ahead, the trend lines are likely to continue through the next three years, as the U.S. further emerges from COVID and nations that have provided assistance to Ukraine backfill equipment, Hursch said.

“There will over the next three years or so at least probably be continuing increases,” he said. “I’m not sure how steep the slope will be. That’s based on the fact that our allies and partners will be replenishing their stocks, that they will also be probably trying to transform up to the next period based on the next generation of equipment based on what they have. And that they are drawing lessons from the conflict that we see today about the kinds of systems they need to have.”

He qualified that the fiscal 2022 figure includes “some fairly large F-35 sales.” That is certainly the case. From May 2021 through May 2022 the U.S. sold fighters to Canada, Finland, Germany and Switzerland.

The export of systems for land forces may see an increase in the future. Patrick Mason, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation, said he foresees opportunities for the U.S. and its allies and partners to replenish and recapitalize their integrated air and missile defense systems, fires and precision fires. 

Jen DiMascio

Based in Washington, Jen manages Aviation Week’s worldwide defense, space and security coverage.