FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND: The U.S. government is on track to approve nearly $40 billion in foreign military sales in the 2016 fiscal year that ends October 1, down from $46.6 billion last year, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday.
"We're tracking toward $40 billion. We're tracking toward 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.
Rixey said the total could still fluctuate, depending on what happened in the fourth quarter.
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 (BA.N) equipment announced on Monday.
"I'm personally not viewing any impacts to our current relationship with the UK," he said.
Global demand for U.S. helicopters and other weapons remained strong, Rixey said.
Rixey has launched 40 separate initiatives to streamline the foreign arms sales approval process and respond to criticism about delays in handling a sustained high volume of requests.
U.S. industry officials and top military officials have become increasingly vocal in expressing concerns about delays in approving fighter jet sales to U.S. allies in the Gulf and other deals.