The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of an estimated $108.7m possible foreign military sale of ALE-70 radio frequency countermeasures (RFCM) to Australia.
Approved by the US State Department, the sale covers delivery of 1,952 ALE-70(V)/T-1687A electronic towed decoy countermeasures, publications, and technical documentation.
The Government of Australia has also requested for other technical assistance, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and related elements of logistical and programme support.
The proposed sale is expected to help the US’ non-Nato ally in developing and maintaining its self-defence capability.
The electronic towed decoy countermeasures will be installed aboard Australia’s F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter to improve its survivability and capability to deter global threats, strengthen its homeland defence, and cooperate in coalition defence initiatives.
British Aerospace Enterprise (BAE) will serve as the principal contractor in connection with this potential sale.
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Designed and produced by BAE Systems for deployment from the F-35 aircraft, the ALE-70 towed radio frequency countermeasure consists of the reel/launcher assembly, tow line, T-1687 countermeasure transmitter, and electronic and mechanical sub-assemblies.
When deployed from the aircraft, the ALE-70’s countermeasure transmitter responds to commands from the countermeasure controller located in the jet and emits waveforms that are used to confuse or decoy adversary radars or radar-guided weapons.