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Biden administration approves massive arms sales

This photo taken on March 11, 2019 shows the Boeing Company logo as seen on a building in Annapolis Junction, Maryland. (Photo by AFP)

The administration of US President Joe Biden has approved huge arms sales to allying states in the “Quad” group of countries.

The Pentagon said on Friday that the potential sale of six Boeing-made P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment including radio systems, engines, navigational systems, and contractor support, had been approved to India for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion.

On Thursday, Australia was cleared to purchase a package of Heavy Armored Combat Systems, with an estimated price tag of $1.685 billion, and four CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters, with an estimated price tag of $259 million.

In addition to the items for India and Australia worth a potential $4.36 billion, last week, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency responsible for arms sales, training and services to US military allies, announced that the administration's approval of potential sale of three RQ-4 Block 30 (I) Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and related equipment to Japan worth $1.2 billion.

The potential arms sales to the three countries signal Washington's increasing focus on China and the Pacific.

Indian, Japan and Austria are part of the “Quad,” a group of allied countries aiming to fight China's growing clout.

The announcement does not represent final sales; if Congress approves the potential arms sale, it then goes into negotiations, during which dollar figures and quantities of equipment can change.

The Biden administration has approved 15 potential arms sales, with a combined value of $8.9 trillion.

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