US approves $1.22bn sale of advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles to Australia
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $1.22bn foreign military sale (FMS) of AIM-120D advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and associated equipment, training, and logistics support to Australia.
Under the deal, the Government of Australia has requested major defence equipment (MDE) comprising of 450 AIM-120D missiles, 34 AIM-120D air vehicles instrumented, six instrumented test vehicles and ten spare AIM-120 Guidance Sections.
Additionally, the contract will cover non-MDE items including containers and weapon system support equipment.
The potential sale will also include spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, the US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and programme support.
The proposed sale will improve Australia's security, contributing to US foreign policy and national security goals.
The new acquisition is expected to provide the Royal Australian Air Force with additional air-to-air intercept capability and increase interoperability with the US Air Force.
Additionally, it will increase the number of aircraft available to the RAAF, which currently has F/A-18, E/A-18G and F-35 aircraft in its fleet.
Australia recently requested the sale of GBU-39/B small-diameter bombs 1 (SDB1) as part of potential $172m deal.
The request includes 2,950 SDB1, 50 guided test vehicles (GTV) with GBU-39 (T-1)/B (Inert Fuse).
Image: AIM-120 AMRAAM (right) fitted in a weapons bay of a F-22 Raptor. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.