The U.S. State Department approved the $60 million sale of military goods — including weapons, equipment, training and support — to the Afghan government, according to Thursday’s announcement.
“The proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner by providing weapons needed to maintain security and stability, as well as to conduct offensive operations against an ongoing insurgency. A stable and secure Afghanistan is vital to regional stability,” the State Department said.
The Afghan government requested major defense equipment that includes 4,891 M16A4 rifles, 485 M240B machine guns, and 800 M2 .50-cal machine guns. The request also included an unspecified number of M249 light automatic machine guns, M1110 sniper rifles, and MK-19 grenade launchers as well as gun mounts, tripods and gun parts. Training and support would also be included in the package.
The State Department said the Afghan National Army will use the weapons and equipment in both offensive and defensive operations against insurgents and terrorists within their borders.
The principal contractor for the M240B will be FN America, Colombia, SC. The principal contractors for the M16A4, M2, and other weapons have not been identified pending open competition and contract award.