The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sales (FMS) of defence services related to future standard missile (SM) production to Australia.
Approved by the US State Department, the total estimated cost of the FMS and associated equipment is $350m.
The sale package will include services related to the purchase of SM 6 Block I (SM-6) and SM 2 Block IIIC (SM-2 IIIC) missiles.
These defence services include development, engineering, integration, and testing (EI&T), as well as other obsolescence engineering activities required to ensure missile readiness.
Furthermore, US Government and contractor engineering, technical services, as well as other associated elements of logistical and programme support are included in the sale package.
DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.
“Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. Australia is strategically positioned to contribute 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.”
DSCA noted that the sale will support the readiness and future sale of vital anti-air warfare (AAW) capability that can be deployed from Australia’s newest Hunter-class destroyers.
The purchase of SM-6 and SM-2 IIIC missiles is currently included in Australia’s procurement roadmap.
According to DSCA, the FMS will improve the country’s ability to operate alongside US and allied naval forces against all naval threats.
The SM-6, also known as RIM-174, is a ship-launched anti-air and anti-surface interceptor missile developed by Raytheon.
In November last year, the US State Department approved a possible FMS of SM 2 Block IIIC missiles to Canada.