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I recall reading that back in the ‘60’s a gun company couldn’t sell small arms to foreign nations unless it was the approved US Military weapon. Does anyone know if any such laws still exist? This one has always made sense to some degree, while at the same time severely limits innovation in the realm of small arms. I'm betting Daniel Watters would know...does he still post here?
 

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Foreign Military Sales have been made into a vast specialty region of law. Like all DoD contracts such sales are intended to provide full employment for lawyers and make them all billionaires by age 40.

But don't worry it all comes out of the taxpayers pocket along with the interest on the National Debt.
Cross reference: http://www.dsca.osd.mil/home/foreign_military_sales.htm

Geoff
Who refers you to your friendly neighborhood (on the Washington DC beltway anyway) Law Firm, bring plenty bucks up front.
 

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Also an item being accepted by the U.S. Military often makes for a strong selling point. (No to mention high production drops costs.)

I recall the Northrop F-20 Program being done in about 25 years ago because the U.S. Military didn't buy any. Foreign orders disappeared too.
 

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Also an item being accepted by the U.S. Military often makes for a strong selling point. (No to mention high production drops costs.)

I recall the Northrop F-20 Program being done in about 25 years ago because the U.S. Military didn't buy any. Foreign orders disappeared too.
I recall that as well -- it was a shame, I always thought that was a very nice, very simple fighter that would have been a great asset. It would never have had the all around functionability of the F-15 but it was small cheap and able in its own niche.
 

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And think what we coulda done if we'd bought a swarm of F-20's and a smaller F-16 force instead of going All In on the Lawn Dart... problem was, per a friend who was an engineer at Northrop during the YF-23 days, their management had a major attitude problem and severe internal issues and the ONLY reason they got the B-2 contract was USAF not wanting to give Lockheed a monopoly on stealth technology.

Plenty of Minuteman III Suppositories owed all around there... but this will have to do instead:
 

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Also an item being accepted by the U.S. Military often makes for a strong selling point. (No to mention high production drops costs.)
I recall the Northrop F-20 Program being done in about 25 years ago because the U.S. Military didn't buy any. Foreign orders disappeared too.
Main problem with the F-20 was selling it as a hi/low mix with the F-18L (Land based version a much more capable fighter than the F/A-18 because it didn't need the carrier capability. Neither went anywhere as the US started selling the F/A-18 cheap and the F-16A, lightly used, with an update package was cheap, to the point of being given away.

In the end the F-20 was a 1950's front end with a 1970's engine in the back. The F-16A (with options and add-ons) was longer ranged and the radar as good or better.

Geoff
Who was a very tiny part of the F/A-18 landing gear team, many moons agone.
 

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I recall the Northrop F-20 Program being done in about 25 years ago because the U.S. Military didn't buy any. Foreign orders disappeared too.
Uncle Sam convinced Northrop to develop the F-20 plane on their own nickel. Some industry watchers speculated that elements inside the DOD were trying twist Northrop's arm and bank accounts into merging with another larger prime contractor and punished them by not ordering any F-20's. We can be certain that General Dynamics didn't want a cheaper alternative to the F-16 establishing itself as a front line fighter.
 

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The first rule of dealing with government: "You want it, you buy it--CASH up front, and nothing happens until the funds clear our bank."

ESPECIALLY the Navy, who Kelly Johnson specifically had an unwritten final of his formal Skunk Works Rules forbidding doing ANY business whatsoever with:
"Rule Number 15: Starve before doing business with the damned Navy. They don't know what they want and before they are through they will break either your heart or a more exposed part of your anatomy."
--Kelly Johnson, in his final advice to Ben Rich before turning over the SW chief's office; quoted in Rich & Janos's Skunk Works
 

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One reason Lockheed was able to break Grumman's stranglehold on the Navy ASW aircraft, replacing the S-2 Tracker with the S-3 Viking was that Grumman took the Navy for granted, since they had been providing most Navy combat aircraft since before WWII.
 

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As I understand it, a US company could sell non-GI issue weaponry overseas if the State Department approved it. The State Department could be very touchy about giving the appearance of foreign countries acquiring equipment that was equal or superior to US troops and escalating regional arms races. The real problem for a lot of countries was that the US Congress wouldn't foot the bill via a Military Assistance Package if it wasn't GI issue or surplus.
 
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