By John T. Bennett - 11/17/11 01:40 PM EST
"These high-value, historic deals are good for the American companies who will export and for the thousands of suppliers who will contribute to the end product," the White House said. "These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding strategic partnership between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, contributing to economic growth and development."
One of the deals will provide a boost for Connecticut-based Sikorsky, with Brunei signing on to buy 12 Blackhawk S-70i helicopters. The deal will support up to 1,100 American jobs, according to the White House. There also is an option involved that could "double the project's size, value and job creation," the White House said.
The arms sale is the latest move by the U.S. to beef up its military posture, and that of its allies, in the Asia-Pacific region.
The announcement of the Blackhawk sale comes one day after President Obama announced that up to 2,500 U.S. Marines will be stationed in Australia. The agreement with Australia also will lead to more U.S. Navy ships visiting the island nation, and more U.S. Air Force war planes rotating there.
Pentagon spokesmen said Wednesday that the move is not aimed at China. For his part, Obama, speaking Wednesday Down Under, said Washington will send clear messages to Beijing when it feels China is acting irresponsibly.