The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has approved a request from Australia for upgrades to its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.
The DSCA say that the sale will improve Australia’s capability in current and future coalition efforts and that the equipment will help the Royal Australian Air Force better communicate with and protect its F/A-18 aircraft, and the addition of MIDS JTRS will accomplish the goal of making US and Australian aircraft more interoperable when supporting operational forces.
According to a notice posted by the agency:
“The Government of Australia requested the possible sale of thirty-two (32) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) with four channel Concurrent Multi-Network (CMN-4), and thirty-nine (39) AN/ALQ-214A(V)4 Countermeasure Systems.
This will also include all system integration and testing, component improvement, test and tools equipment upgrades, support equipment replenishment, supply support, publications and technical document updates, personnel training and training equipment upgrades, aircrew trainer device upgrades, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The total estimated program cost is $101.4 million.
This sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major contributor to political stability, security, and economic development in the Western Pacific. Australia is an important Major non-NATO Ally and partner that contributes significantly to peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”