The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of Aegis combat system equipment to Australia for an estimated consideration of $185m.
The sale was requested by the Australian Government in order to increase its self-defence capability.
It is also intended to improve Australia’s interoperability with the US Navy’s Aegis combatants.
Australia has requested the provision of long-lead items, engineering and development activities under the proposed deal, which would also cover the establishment of engineering development sites, as well as the commencement of development activities associated with the integration of the CEAFAR 2 phased array radar with the Aegis combat system.
The probable sale would also include Aegis weapon system technical equivalent components, including command display system (CDS) consoles, as well as multi-mission display (MMD) systems such as projectors, sensors and cameras.
Furthermore, the FMS is also expected to involve the supply of tactical equivalent core computing system (CCS) cabinets and other systems.
The possible sale has been approved by the US State Department and will enable the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to improve the capabilities of its surface combatants by adding nine new Aegis-capable Future Frigates over the next 20 years, as well as upgrading three existing Aegis-capable Hobart-class destroyers with the latest technologies.
The arrangement would also include the provision of US Government and contractor engineering, technical and support services, in addition to other associated logistical and programme support.
Lockheed Martin will serve as the potential principal contractor for the sale.
A number of other companies involved in the contract with the US Navy are also expected to deliver components, systems and engineering services in support of the deal.