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​The State Department on Wednesday approved a $1 billion sale of MQ-9 Reapers and related ground control stations to the United Kingdom. The sale includes 26 MQ-9s, 12 Advanced Ground Control Stations, four launch and recovery systems, and additional upgrades and related radar and guidance equipment, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency release. “The UK is a close ally and an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues,” the release states. “The proposed sale will enhance US foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing the UK’s capabilities to provide national defense and contribute to NATO and coalition operations.” The UK already flies Reapers, including its own squadron based at Creech AFB, Nev., alongside USAF remotely piloted aircraft units.