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Friday, July 28, 2006

Bush Plans Spy-Drone Arms Sale to Poland

The Bush administration told Congress on July 27 it was tentatively planning to sell Poland remotely piloted spy aircraft and related gear worth up to $73 million to help fight terrorism.

Poland plans to use the so-called Shadow 200 RQ-7B unmanned aerial vehicles -- built by United Industrial Corp.’s AAI Corp. unit -- in support of European Union Brigades and NATO operations, the Pentagon said in a mandatory notice to Congress.

The drones would provide "critical intelligence and early warning to military forces to combat terrorist cells and activities," said the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which administers U.S. government-to-government arms sales.

In addition, the drones also provide intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance, it said.

The value could be as high as $73 million if all options were exercised, the agency said.

The notice of a potential sale is required by law. It does not mean that a sale has been concluded. Congress has the power to block a proposed arms sale.

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