Dutch plan to sign Reaper drone deal next week – sources

By Mike Stone

LONDON (Reuters) – The Netherlands plans to sign an agreement to buy four unmanned Reaper drones next week, two people familiar with the talks said on Friday, confirming a deal that has been delayed due to budgetary constraints.

A Letter of Agreement for the surveillance drones could be signed next week at the Farnborough International Airshow outside London, the people said on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.

The deal for the MQ-9 Reaper drones, made by California-based General Atomics, was first approved by the U.S. State Department back in 2015, when it had a value of $339 million (£256.2 million).

The air show is typically marked by a race for commercial plane orders between Boeing Co and Airbus, but this year U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing a “Buy American” initiative aiming at drumming up billions of dollars in arms sales for U.S. companies.

In April, the Trump

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