US approves sales of precision bomb kits to Israel

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:04pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 10 (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Monday notified Congress that it had approved the sale of nearly 7,000 precision bomb kits built by Boeing Co to Israel in a deal valued at around $647 million that included other munitions.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said Israel had requested to buy 6,900 Joint Direct Attack Munition tail kits and thousands of other bombs.

U.S. lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale although such action is rare since arms sales are usually carefully vetted before they are formally notified.

Boeing builds the JDAM kits. Other contractors include Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Corp, and Raytheon.

The Pentagon said the deal would help Israel maintain the operational capability of the systems it already operates.

"The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability," the agency said in its notification to Congress.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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