April 9, 2008 / 9:58 PM / in 11 years

US approves $227 mln Lockheed arms sale to Turkey

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday it had approved the sale to Turkey of ship-based vertical launch systems built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and valued at $227 million.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said it notified Congress about the proposed arms sale last week. Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare.

The agency said the Turkish government had requested the sale of six MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) Baseline VII tactical modules and two sets of MK 41 VLS upgrade kits to modernize six frigates.

It said the sale would aid U.S. security objectives by improving the Turkish Navy’s ability to work together with NATO and the U.S. military on joint operations.

It would also help Turkey expand its regional defenses to counter common threats to border and shipping assets in the region. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa, editing by Richard Chang)

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