The Defence Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said that 2023 set a record for US sales of military equipment and hardware, with $80.9bn in business through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.

“That is a record,” said DSCA Director James Hursch, with European nations becoming “huge customers.”

Speaking at the 2024 Sea-Air-Space maritime exposition on 9 April, Hursch went on to highlight the activity of Sweden, Poland, and Netherlands as customers of significant size. 

Poland was marked as a special case, joining the US in co-production of defence systems, strengthening its own industrial base in a pattern the US would like to be repeated with other partners and allies around the world, according to Hursch. 

“One of the principal lessons we have learned in the Ukraine crisis and looking at ourselves as we’ve gone through this is… the health of our defence industrial base,” he said.

“I think we’ve discovered… domestically, we need to pay more attention to that. We have a new National Defense Industrial Base Strategy, which has been published by [DoD’s] acquisition and sustainment office. But I think it’s also true that we’re seeing in Europe an increased focus on the strength of the industrial base. And we’re looking for ways in which we can cooperate across those industrial bases.”

In 2023, Poland also made US purchases of: AH-64E Apache helicopters; High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS); the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System; and M1A1 Abrams Main Battle tanks.

Nato Allies have made a substantial proportion of US FMS in both 2023 and 2023, with $20bn in fiscal year 2022 and $24 billion in fiscal year 2023.

Of the $80.9bn in value of authorised arms transfers and security cooperation programs from 2023, $62.3bn of the sales were to US ally and partner nations and an additional $14.7bn was used through teh Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and Building Partner Capacity programs under the Foreign Assistance Act.