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    Defense Agency: US May Sell Drones Worth $339Mln to Netherlands

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    The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Netherlands for MQ-9 Reapers and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $339 million.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States plans to sell 4 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and other related equipment worth almost $340 million dollars to the Netherlands, US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.

    “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Netherlands for MQ-9 Reapers and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $339 million,” according to the release published Friday.

    Netherlands’ government earlier requested a possible sale of 4 MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircrafts and 4 mobile ground control stations together with necessary parts and other equipment to support 3,400 flight hours for a three year period, the release read.

    The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified US Congress of the possible sale on Friday by delivering the required certification.

    The proposed sale may require the US contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ representatives to make multiple trips to the Netherlands and “to deployed locations to provide initial launch, recovery, and maintenance support,” according to the release.

    “This potential sale will enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability of the Dutch military in support of national, NATO, UN-mandated, and other coalition operations,” press release stressed.

    The proposed sale of military drones, however, “will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the release said.

    Earlier on Friday, Aymeric Chauprade, member of the European Parliament, expressed his deep concern about wide-spread US drone usage by European state, explaining that US-manufactured Reapers already operate in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and soon will be in Germany. He said that once again the European club “will be painted in the colors of the American flag.”

    Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been used actively in military and civil spheres in recent years. UAVs function autonomously and are controlled by pilots from the ground.

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    drones, US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Netherlands, United States
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