The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to the Government of the Philippines of Scout, Assault, and Light Support Boats with armaments and related equipment for $126m.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of the proposed sale.

Philippines has sought for the delivery of 156 M240B 7.62x51mm machine guns along with 36 9M Scout Boats (SB), 36 10M Assault Boats (AB), 18 16M Light Support Boats (LSB), 36 units of Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) 280HD, 24 M2A1.50 caliber machine guns, and 36 M134D-M 7.62x51mm 6-barrel rotary Gatling guns.

Additionally, it requested 399 NFS-NVG/IR Lasers (AN/PVS-14 and AN/PEQ-15), 102 Thermal Imager Scope (handheld), 210 Heavy Thermal Weapon Sights (AN/PAS-13), 90 Harris Falcon III RF-7850M radios, and 270 Harris Falcon III RF-7850S radios.

The foreign military sale also covers boat spare parts, spare engines and engine components, safety and rescue equipment, training, engineering technical services and assistance, transportation cost services along with logistics programme support services.

The delivery will improve the Philippines Army’s capability to defend against current and future threats and strengthen its ability to control inland and coastal waterways in the southern region of the country.

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Willard Marine, Anaheim, California, US, will serve as the principal contractor for the Scout and Assault Boats sale programme.

The principal contractor for the Light Support Boat will be selected through an open competition contract.

The delivered boats, armaments and equipment will help the country to maintain political stability, peace and economic progress in South East Asia.

For a total duration of five years, an additional US contractor will be required to provide maintenance and logistical support to the Republic of the Philippines.