Foreign Military Sales


“The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program is that part of Security Assistance authorized by the Arms Control Export Act (AECA) and conducted using formal contracts or agreements between the United States Government (USG) and an authorized foreign purchaser. These contracts, called Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs), are signed by both the USG and the purchasing Government or international organization; and provide for the sale of defense articles and/or defense services (to include training) usually from Department of Defense (DoD) stocks or through purchase under DoD-managed contracts. As with all Security Assistance, the FMS program supports United States (U.S.) foreign policy and national security objectives.” (Source: Security Assistance Management Manual Para C4.1.1)

The FMS program is governed by:

  • The Arms Control Export Act and
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations
  • 22 CFR 121, the U.S. Munitions List
  • There is no Leahy Amendment applicable to the FMS program.
  • Foreign Military Financing grants may be used to help a country afford an FMS transaction.

    Both the State and Defense Departments have responsibilities in FMS cases.

  • The State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs sets policy
  • The Defense Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) implements the program
    The United States government is required by Congress to prepare an annual report on military assistance, military exports, and military imports known as the “Section 655” report (after the section of the Foreign Assistance Act which requires it). Both the State Department and the Defense Department submit their respective portions of the annual Section 655 report; State reports on direct commercial sales (DCS) export licenses; Defense (through DSCA) reports on drawdowns, excess defense articles, international military education and training, and foreign military sales (FMS). FMS cases are reported in the Annual DSCA Fact Books.