U.S. Approves $1.5 Billion Sale of Items, Services to Support Australian Surface Combatant Program

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of items and services to support the Australian Surface Combatant (ASC) program for an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.

The sale will be conducted through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Jan. 14.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy long-lead items, engineering development activities, and other defense services to support the Australian Surface Combatant Program, including the modernization of the three Hobart Class Destroyers, and construction of the first three (of nine total) Hunter Class Frigates.

HMAS Hobart (DDG 39)
HMAS Hobart (DDG 39, the lead ship of the Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWD) used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Hunter-class frigate
Artist’s rendering of a Hunter-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) platform. Illustration by BAE Systems.

The sales package includes:

• Three shipsets of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) in the MK 6 Mod 1 configuration for Hobart Class DDGs;
• Three shipsets of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) in the MK 6 Mod 1 configuration for Hunter Class FFGs;
• Three shipsets of the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLS) for Hunter Class Frigates;
• Three shipsets (2 mounts per ship) of the Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) for Hunter Class Frigates;
• Two Australia AEGIS Weapon System Computer Programs (one for Hobart Class, one for Hunter Class), and associated computer programs for AEGIS Combat System components for installation on both the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; • • Six shipsets of the Global Positioning System (GPS) – Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Service (GPNTS) Navigation Systems and associated Advanced Digital Antenna Production (ADAP) antennas and support equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Six shipsets of upgraded Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Six shipsets of Command and Control Processor (C2P) equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Eight shipsets of Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Set (MIDS JTRS) terminals for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships.
• Three shipsets of MK 34 Gun Weapon System (GWS) modification equipment to include the Electro Optical Sight System and changes supporting Naval Fires Planner and associated TacLink Control System for installation on the Hobart Class Destroyers;
• Three shipsets of MK 34 Gun Weapon System components to include the MK 160 Gun Computing System and the MK 20 Electro-Optical Sight System, and the Naval Fires Planner and associated TacLink Control System for installation on the Hunter Class Frigates;
• Three shipsets of Mode 5/S capable Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF) Systems; Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplexing System (GEDMS); AN/WSN-7 Ring Laser Gyrocompass Inertial Navigation Systems (INS); WSN-9 Digital Hybrid Speed Log systems; Common Data Link Management System (CDLMS); and Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) systems for installation on the Hunter Class Frigates;
• Six shipsets of AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink and SQQ-89 Sonobuoy processing equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Defense services for development and integration of a capability upgrade for the installed AEGIS Combat System on the Hobart Class Destroyer, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability and growth capability for Ballistic Missile Defense;
• Development, integration and testing support for installation of a AEGIS Combat System for installation on the Hunter Class FFG, a Global Combat Ship Type 26 (BAE) platform, including the integration of the indigenous CEAFAR 2 Phased Array Radar (CEA Industries) with the AEGIS Combat System (including Cooperative Engagement Capability) and the primary radar sensor and illuminator;
• Integration of selected Australian provided combat system components including Undersea Warfare and Ship Self Defense for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
integration of the MH-60R helicopter into the AEGIS Combat System for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Procurement and delivery of installation support material, special purpose test equipment, initial logistics outfitting, spares and other ancillary equipment to support the installation and integration of AEGIS Combat System equipment in the Hunter and Hobart class ship platforms;
• Development of technical documentation to support both programs;
• provision of logistics and other support services to support the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Procurement, staging, delivery and installation support for AEGIS Combat System Equipment for the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• Provision of training support for curriculum development, training tool development, front-end analysis, and crew training for the Hobart and Hunter Class ships;
• U.S. Government and contractor representative engineering, logistics, and technical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support for the Hobart and Hunter Class ships.

The Australian Surface Combatant program will enhance Australia’s Surface Combatant capability by modernizing their existing three AEGIS capable Hobart Class Destroyers with the latest technology and capability and delivering the first three (of nine) AEGIS capable Hunter Class Future Frigates.

“This sale enhances Australia’s self-defense capability, while significantly improving interoperability with U.S. Navy AEGIS combatants in the region. By deploying a surface combatant fleet that will incorporate Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), Australia will significantly improve network-centric warfare capability for US forces operating in the region”, according to a DSCA statement.

There are a significant number of companies under contract with the U.S. Navy that will provide components and systems as well as engineering services during the execution of this effort, with a significant portion of the effort to be performed by Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, NJ.



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