Australia looks to be progressing the acquisition of warstocks of anti-radiation missiles for the RAAF’s 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft after the US Department of State approved a US$137.6 million sale of HARM and AARGM missiles.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated on April 28 that Australia has requested the possible sale under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program of up to 70 AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) and up to 40 AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) tactical missiles.
In addition the DSCA notice lists the possible acquisition of “up to 16 CATM-88B HARM Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); up to 16 CATM-88E AARGM CATM; up to 25 AGM-88B control sections; up to 25 AGM-88B guidance sections; up to 20 AGM-88E control sections; up to 20 AGM-88E guidance sections; up to 48 telemetry/flight termination systems; US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other associated support equipment and services.”
The prime contractors are Orbital ATK and Raytheon, the DSCA notice observes.
This would be Australia’s second acquisition of HARM and AARGM missiles after an initial buy of training stocks was first announced in June 2015.
Australia is acquiring 12 Boeing EA-18G Growlers, the first of which arrived in country in late February this year ahead of the Avalon Airshow.
By the middle of this year, all 12 aircraft are expected to have arrived at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland to be operated by 6 Squadron.
Australia is the only country besides the US to fly the Growler.