US approves possible sale of anti-ship missiles to Australia

10 February 2020 (Last Updated September 8th, 2020 03:19)

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) and related equipment to the Government of Australia for approximately $990m.

US approves possible sale of anti-ship missiles to Australia
The proposed deal will increase Australian Navy’s maritime partnership potential. Credit: Hugh Llewelyn.

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) and related equipment to the Government of Australia for approximately $990m.

Under the potential military sale, Australia will purchase up to 200 AGM-158C LRASMs and up to 11 ATM-158C LRASM Telemetry Variant (Inert).

Operating under the US Department of Defense (DoD), the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible sale.

Additionally, the US will sell DATM-158C LRASM, Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM-158C LRASM), containers, support and test equipment, publications, technical documentation, personnel training and equipment.

The deal also includes US Government and contractor representatives technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The proposed sale is set to support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US.

Australia plans to use the missiles on its F-18 aircraft and will provide improved capabilities in the defence of critical sea lanes.

With the proposed deal, the Australian Navy is expected to increase its maritime partnership potential and align its capabilities with existing regional baselines.

The proposed sale of the equipment and support to Australia is not expected to alter the basic military balance in the region. The country can absorb these weapons into its armed forces easily.

Lockheed Martin will serve as the prime contractor with regard to the sale implementation that will require annual trips to Australia involving US Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support, and oversight for around five years.