USAF Has a Weapon Sales Strategy

The Air Force is working to speed up the Foreign Military Sales process, said Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, on Friday. Speaking at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force event in Arlington, Va., she said when she got in her job six years ago, the service was “very reactive” to FMS requests, rather than having a proactive strategy about who the service wanted to buy key systems. That strategy exists now, but the service still has a reputation of “over-promising and under-delivering.” At the behest of USAF Secretary Deborah Lee James, Grant said the international affairs apparatus is trying to speed things up, and be “a better partner to industry.” Other countries have choices and “can go elsewhere” if the US won’t provide the capabilities they want, she noted. There is now a “yes” list of weapons the US will sell, a “no” list—which she said usually means “no for now”—and a “hell no” list of systems the US wants to keep to itself. The Air Force is “open to conversations” about things on the “no” list, if the buying country can provide proof of adequate safeguards of the technology, she said.