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Notifications to Congress of Pending U.S. Arms Transfers


The U.S. administration has notified Congress of the following proposed transfers of excess defense articles (EDA), government-negotiated Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreements, export licenses for industry-negotiated Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), or leases of military equipment. The data is collected from the House Committee on International Relations Survey of Activities, the Federal Register, the Defense Department's online EDA database, and the media. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the numbers reported, limitations on the available data may result in incomplete listings. Classified notifications are available on our Government Documents page.

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The Arms Sales Monitoring Project keeps track of the administration's notifications to Congress of proposed government-negotiated Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreements, export licenses for industry-negotiated Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), leases of equipment, and reduced price or free excess defense article (EDA) transfers. 

You can search our database by region, country, date, weapon system, and/or transfer type at left.

Notes about the data:

  1. Congressional notification does not necessarily mean the weapons were actually exported as described. Limited changes may occur without another notification, or the final contract or letter of offer may never have been completed.

  2. The Arms Export Control Act requires only that the administration notify Congress of FMS and DCS valued at $14 million or more for "major defense equipment" and $50 million or more for all other arms transfers. FMS and DCS sales below those thresholds are not usually recorded here.  

    The original notification documents are available in the Federal Register's database and on the State and Defense Department's websites. The Defense Department posts notifications for Foreign Military Sales on its website soon after they are sent to Congress. The State Department also posts Direct Commercial Sales notifications, but usually not right away. The most recent State Department notifications can be found in the Federal Register's database. To find a specific notification, select the year that the notification was issued. Then type the transmission number (example: "DDTC 064-04") into the "Search" field. Most searches yield multiple documents. The notification is usually contained in the first document titled "Bureau of Political-Military Affairs: Directorate of Defense." Double click on the "HTML" or "PDF" version of that document and do a keyword search for the transmission number. Note: if you have trouble finding a specific notification in the year that it was issued, try searching documents from the following year. State Department transmittal letters are often published in batches, and occasionally the batch containing a particular letter is not published until the next calendar year.

  3. When there is no notification to Congress, but reliable information has been found in the press, the description of the sale will include two asterisks (**).  

  4. The data includes many but not all sales to the United States' major customers; sales to most Western European countries before 2003 were not recorded. Sales to these countries were not regularly entered into the database until 2004.   

  5. Incomplete entries may not yet have been published in the Federal Register.  

  6. In FY99, commercial satellites were placed on the U.S. munitions list, and therefore are occasionally listed here.  Previously, such satellites were considered dual-use rather than military equipment and therefore did not require congressional notification.

  7. Most of the data was collected in 1994 and thereafter.