Boeing frustrated with delays in U.S. approvals for Gulf fighter sales
By Andrea Shalal
DUBAI (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) is "a little frustrated" with delays in getting U.S. government approvals for fighter jet sales to countries in the Gulf region, but hopes to see movement on those deals early next year, a senior Boeing executive said on Monday.
Jeff Kohler, Boeing's vice president for international business development, told reporters the government review process had taken longer than expected.
"We’re a little frustrated, and I know the customers are in the region," he said at the Dubai Airshow, without giving details about the specific deals or the number of jets involved. Boeing generally will not discuss specific buyers since arms sales are negotiated between governments.
A $3 billion deal for 28 F/A-18E/F fighter jets for Kuwait that includes options for 12 more jets, and a separate deal for F-15 fighters for Qatar, have languished in the U.S. regulatory process, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Kohler, who formerly headed the Pentagon agency that oversees foreign arms sales, said the delays reflected a larger problem - that the U.S. government had not expanded its capacity to process arms deals despite a large increase in such transactions by many of the biggest weapons makers in recent years.
He said he feared the government's failure to process arms sales in a timely manner could cost U.S. arms makers needed revenues.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Stephen Coates and Mark Potter)
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