The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of close-in weapon system (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 upgrade kits and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support to Australia.
The estimated $76m FMS programme involves the sale of three CIWS Block 1B Baseline 1 to Baseline 2 upgrade kits, the revamp and upgrade of approximately nine CIWS Block 1A mounts to Block 1B Baseline 2 systems, 11 remote control stations and 11 local control stations.
Additional supplies include spare and repair parts, support equipment, test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, as well as publications and technical documentation. US Government and contractor logistics and technical support services are also included, as are other associated elements of logistics and programme support.
In addition to improving Australia’s maritime defence potential for national defence and future coalition operations, the proposed deal will bolster Australia’s capability to counter regional threats and enhance its shipboard defence.
Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, US, has been named as the prime contractor for the programme.
Raytheon’s Phalanx CIWS is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20mm gun system, with over 890 systems being built and deployed for navies globally.
The upgraded Phalanx Block 1B can be used in littoral warfare threats, including helicopters and high-speed surface threats. It has new control stations with situational awareness to track and detect targets visually before they are engaged.