The US military has purchased aircraft parts and accessories from companies that make aircraft parts used to build fighter jets, drones and helicopters, according to a Recode investigation.
The Pentagon bought more than $1.2 billion worth of these parts, which include parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle fighter jets.
It was not immediately clear how many aircraft parts were made in the US.
But the Pentagon said that it will use some of the proceeds from the deals to “invest in new capabilities and capabilities to help the Department of Defense keep pace with the evolving threat environment.”
“While some of our most valuable assets are made in other countries, we are committed to making our own military and our nation’s infrastructure stronger,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement.
“That’s why we will use the proceeds of this deal to invest in new technologies and capabilities, such as in new F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, and to continue to improve our Joint Strike Fighters and our fighter jet fighter squadrons.”
Recode: The Pentagon wants to buy more fighter jets in a hurry The Pentagon’s announcement comes as the US government struggles to keep pace as its next-generation fighters get more advanced and the Pentagon struggles to get its warfighting equipment in enough inventory.
Last year, the Pentagon began selling more than 1,000 aircraft parts to a Chinese company that makes aircraft parts for China’s F-21 and F,6 stealth fighter jets that can operate from the skies and from land.
That deal, according the Pentagon, was the largest single military procurement for Chinese-made parts since 2007.
Recode also has reported on previous deals that included $1 billion in fighter jet parts to China.
The US has long used F-18 fighter jets to patrol the Pacific, but the Chinese are now using F-7 stealth fighters to patrol international waters.
China has previously complained that the US is buying aircraft parts that could damage its military capabilities.
But China’s government has previously denied it is trying to buy US weapons.
The Pentagon’s new deal with Chinese company JZ Aerospace also comes after China signed an agreement last year to buy $10 billion worth to buy up to 70 percent of the United States’ defense inventory.
The deal, which is subject to congressional approval, is expected to be finalized this week.
The agreement will include $1 trillion in sales to countries that have been hit by cyberattacks, according Defense Department spokeswoman Sarah Collins.