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April 26, 2021

US approves sale of MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft to Australia

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of MQ-9B multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to Australia.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of MQ-9B multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to Australia.

Approved by the US Department of State (DOS), the total estimated cost of the FMS and associated equipment is $1.651bn.

The sale package will include up to 12 MQ-9B RPA, 15 Raytheon multi-spectral targeting systems-D (MTS-D) EO/IR sensors, 16 Lynx AN/APY-8 synthetic aperture radars with ground moving target indicator and 15 RIOTM communication intelligence systems.

Australia has also requested for EGI systems with selective availability anti-spoofing modules (SAASMs), seven MXU-1006 Airfoil Groups for 250lb Paveway II GBU-58, four MAU-169 or MAU-209 CCGs for 250lb/500lb Paveway II GBU-58/GBU-12, six KMU-572 JDAM tail kits for 500lb bombs, four MXU-650 Airfoil Groups for 500lb Paveway II GBU-12, six FMU-139 fuse systems, 12 MK-82 general-purpose 500lb inert bombs and five HCTMs.

Honeywell aircraft engines, Leonardo SAGE 750 ESM, AN/DPX-7 IFF transponders, Leonardo/Selex Seaspray 7500 maritime radars, General Dynamics Satellite Communication (SATCOM) antennas, Hughes modems with USG encryption, and KIV-77 Mode 4/5 IFF cryptographic appliques are also included in the sale package.

General Atomic Aeronautical Systems, Raytheon and Leonardo will serve as principal contractors for the sale package.

The DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US. Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific.

“The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

Last month, DSCA notified Congress of two potential FMS of AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook pilot training and logistics support to the Netherlands.

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