The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$1.651 billion.
FILE PHOTO: MQ-9 Reaper. US Air Force photo.
The Government of Australia has requested to buy…
- up to 12 weapons-ready MQ-9B;
- 15 Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems-D (MTS-D) EO/IR sensors;
- 16 Lynx AN/APY-8 Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) with Ground Moving Target Indicator (GTMI);
- 15 RIOTM Communication Intelligence Systems;
- 36 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Modules (SAASMs); and,
- a wide range of ancillary systems and supports.
The State Department assessed that the proposed sale would improve 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 defence.
“Australia has demonstrated a commitment to modernising its military and will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”
Australia announced it would buy the MQ-9B ‘SkyGuardian’ in November 2019 – which Sir Jeffrey Armiger pointed out, had a somewhat unusual selection pathway.