The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of up to 100 Mk54 all-up-round torpedoes to Australia.
Under the estimated $83m FMS, Australia has requested Mk54 all-up-round torpedoes, 13 Mk54 exercise sections, 13 Mk54 exercise fuel tanks and five recoverable exercise torpedoes.
The sale also includes spare and repair parts, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, technical and logistics support services, as well as other related elements of logistics support.
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems will serve as the prime contractor for the FMS programme.
The Mk54 torpedoes will be used for the Royal Australian Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters, as well as to support its planned P-8A Increment 2 long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft acquisition programme.
Built by Sikorsky, the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter supports a range of missions including anti-surface warfare, search-and-rescue (SAR), naval gunfire support (NGFS), surveillance, communications relay, logistics support, as well as personnel transfer and vertical replenishment.
A total of 24 MH-60R aircraft will be delivered to the Australian Navy through the US foreign military sales programme by mid-2016.
At least eight of the 24 Seahawk Romeos will be embarked with Australia’s Anzac-class ships and the new Hobart-class air warfare vessels, while the remaining aircraft will be based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales, Australia.
The first operational Sikorsky MH-60R helicopter is expected to be delivered to the US Navy in December 2013, with the aircraft then being transferred to RAN in early 2014.