Australia requests sale of $101.4m F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft upgrades


The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible $101.4m foreign military sale (FMS) for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft upgrades to Australia.

Under the sale, Australia seeks to receive 32 multifunctional information distribution system joint tactical radio system (MIDS JTRS) with four-channel Concurrent Multi-Network (CMN-4), and 39 AN/ALQ-214A(V)4 countermeasure systems.

The Government of Australia also requested system integration and testing, component improvement, and test and tools equipment upgrades.

It also covers support equipment replenishment, supply support, publications and technical document updates, personnel training and equipment upgrades, and aircrew trainer device improvements. It also includes US Government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

The procurement would help the Royal Australian Air Force to better communicate with and protect its F/A-18 aircraft.

"The procurement would help the Royal Australian Air Force to better communicate with and protect its F/A-18 aircraft."

The addition of MIDS JTRS will make the US and Australian aircraft more interoperable when supporting operational forces.

Harris Corporation will serve as the prime contractor for the proposed sale, which is expected to improve Australia’s capability in current and future coalition efforts.

Built by Boeing, F/A-18 Super Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather multirole fighter jet that is capable of landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier.

Boeing said it offers a suite of upgrades for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, including conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod, an enhanced engine, and a reduced radar signature.


Image: An F/A-18F Super Hornet during a supersonic test flight. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy photo by Liz Goettee.