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US approves ADF purchase of Hellfire missiles

written by Staff reporter | January 13, 2022
MH-60R helicopter Tiger 16 fires an AGM-114N Hellfire missile during the Anti-Submarine Warfare phase of Exercise Tigerfish off the coast of South East Australia (Defence)

The US State Department has sanctioned the sale of hundreds of Hellfire missiles to the Australian Defence Force, to support armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare mission capabilities for the Army.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has confirmed the prospective sale of 800 Hellfire AGM-114R2 Missiles to Australia for US$108 million ($150 million).

The deal includes the provision of technical assistance, spare parts, repair and return, storage, and program and logistical support.

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According to the DSCA, the deal would support the “foreign policy and national security objectives” of the United States.

“Australia is one of our most important allies in the western Pacific,” the agency noted.

“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 US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

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The Lockheed Martin-built missiles are expected to bolster the Australian Army’s armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare mission capabilities.

This is the latest of a number of foreign military sales announced in recent months, including the Commonwealth government’s request to purchase up to 40 Sikorsky-built UH-60 Black Hawks to replace the Australian Army’s fleet of 47 Airbus-built MRH-90 Taipan helicopters.

The request has been made as part of a provisional assessment process designed to inform a prospective purchase.

Six Black Hawk helicopters could be available from Sikorsky’s 2022 global production line, with the remaining helicopters potentially delivered by 2026.

This followed the approval of an additional 12 MH-60R Multi-Mission (Seahawk) helicopters for approximately US$985 million ($1.3 billion) and the sale of a the sale of a Boeing-built US Navy EA-18G aircraft for an estimated US$125 million ($170.8 million).

Article courtesy of Defence Connect.

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