The State Department Approves 12 MQ-9B Guardian Armed Drones For Australia

The State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.651 billion.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy up to twelve Weapons-Ready MQ-9B, Remotely Piloted Aircraft; fifteen Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems-D (MTS-D) EO/IR sensors; sixteen Lynx AN/APY-8 Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) with Ground Moving Target Indicator (GTMI); fifteen RIOTM Communication Intelligence Systems; thirty-six Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Modules (SAASMs); six KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits for 500lb bombs; four (4) MXU-650 Airfoil Groups for 500lb Paveway II GBU-12; seven MXU-1006 Airfoil Groups for 250lb Paveway II GBU-58; four MAU-169 or MAU-209 Computer Control Groups (CCGs) for 250lb/500lb Paveway II GBU-58/GBU-12; six FMU-139 Fuse Systems; twelve MK-82 General Purpose 500lb inert bombs; five (5) High Bandwidth Compact Telemetry Modules (HCTMs). Also included are Honeywell aircraft engines; Certifiable Ground Control Stations (CGCSs); mobile Satellite Communication Ground Data Terminals (SGDTs); Leonardo SAGE 750 Electronic Surveillance Measures System (ESM); GATES/RSO/GRMA; Automatic Information System (AIS); ARC-210 radios; AN/DPX-7 IFF transponders; General Dynamics Satellite Communication (SATCOM) antennas and Hughes modems with USG encryption; Leonardo/Selex SeaSpray 7500 maritime radars; KY-100M security voice terminals; KIV-77 Mode 4/5 IFF cryptographic appliques; AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loaders; U.S. Government Certified Encryption Solution; KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminal Link-16; Sierra Nevada Electronic Intelligence System; additional secure communications and cryptographic equipment; MQ-9B training simulator; Hellfire Training Missiles, missile rail kits and integration; M-299 Hellfire Rail Launchers; DSU-38 Laser Illuminated Target Detector for GBU-54; MK-81 General Purpose Bombs 250lb Inert Bombs; aircraft and weapons integration, test, and test equipment; additional ground support and test equipment; initial spare repair parts; repair & return; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States, the State Department said in a statement.

Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

The proposed sale improves Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing timely Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), target acquisition, locate submarine capabilities, and counter-land and counter-surface sea capabilities for its security and defense. This sale will enhance interoperability between the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Australia has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing its military and will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

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