US approves sale of 108 AMRAAM missiles to Australia

US approves sale of 108 AMRAAM missiles to Australia

Agency News

Washington, Mar 14 : The United States State Department has approved sale of AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment at an estimated cost of 240.5 million dollar to Australia, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

The Australian defence ministry has requested to purchase up to 108 missiles, six AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented, and six spare AMRAAM guidance sections, as well as associated parts, hardware, engineering support and training.

These items are in support of the country's purchase of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, its ground-based air and missile defense capability.

The Defence Security Cooperation Agency said "Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region."

"This sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Western Pacific. It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability", DSCA added.

The Royal Australian Air Force currently uses Boeing F/A-18, Boeing F-18-E/F and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter planes, and the AMRAAM missiles are compatible with each of them.

Congress was notified of the approval on Tuesday. Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., was designated the prime contractor.UNI