FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) - The U.S. government is on track to approve nearly $40 billion (£30.1 billion) in foreign military sales in the 2016 fiscal year that ends Oct. 1, down from $46.6 billion last year, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday.
"We're tracking toward $40 billion. We're tracking towards our forecast," U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, who heads the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), told Reuters at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Britain's vote to leave the European Union should not affect its relationship with the United States, or potential future arms sale, Rixey said, citing two large UK arms purchases of Boeing Co equipment announced on Monday.
Rixey said he was working closely with industry officials to understand their concerns, but it was important to look at each case individually. He said his agency does not make policy determinations, but simply facilitates sales once they are approved by the U.S. State Department, Pentagon and White ouse.
He declined to comment on the Gulf sales that have stalled for well over a year now, including a $4 billion deal to sell 36 F-15 fighter jets to Qatar and a $3 billion deal to sell 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to Kuwait, both built by Boeing Co .
"Anything that is in foreign policy review is actually part of the deliberate conversation," Rixey said. "When we get stalled there, the system is not broken, but actually acting as intended. We’re having a debate about foreign policy."