U.S. Approves $1.6 Billion Weapons-Ready MQ-9B Drone Sale to Australia

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  • 03:17 AM, April 24, 2021
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U.S. Approves $1.6 Billion Weapons-Ready MQ-9B Drone Sale to Australia
MQ-9B Armed-Reconnaissance drone for Australia

The U.S. has approved a possible sale to Australia of Armed-Reconnaissance MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.651 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Friday delivered certification notifying Congress of the proposed sale.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy up to 12 Weapons-Ready MQ-9B RPA ; 15 Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems-D, EO/IR sensors; 16 Lynx AN/APY-8 Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) with Ground Moving Target Indicator; 15 RIOTM Communication Intelligence Systems; 36 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Modules (SAASMs), a DSCA release said.

Weapons

The sale includes six KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits for 500lb bombs; four MXU-650 Airfoil Groups for 500lb Paveway II GBU-12; seven MXU-1006 Airfoil Groups for 250lb Paveway II GBU-58; four MAU-169 or MAU-209 Computer Control Groups for 250lb/500lb Paveway II GBU-58/GBU-12; six FMU-139 Fuse Systems besides 12 MK-82 General Purpose 500lb inert bombs and five High Bandwidth Compact Telemetry Modules.

U.S. Approves $1.6 Billion Weapons-Ready MQ-9B Drone Sale to Australia
Joint Direct Attack Munition

Also included are Honeywell aircraft engines; Certifiable Ground Control Stations (CGCSs); mobile Satellite Communication Ground Data Terminals (SGDTs); Leonardo SAGE 750 Electronic Surveillance Measures System (ESM); GATES/RSO/GRMA; Automatic Information System (AIS); ARC-210 radios; AN/DPX-7 IFF transponders; General Dynamics Satellite Communication (SATCOM) antennas and Hughes modems with USG encryption.

Leonardo/Selex SeaSpray 7500 maritime radars; KY-100M security voice terminals; KIV-77 Mode 4/5 IFF cryptographic appliques; AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loaders; U.S. Government Certified Encryption Solution; KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminal Link-16; Sierra Nevada Electronic Intelligence System; additional secure communications and cryptographic equipment; MQ-9B training simulator; Hellfire Training Missiles, missile rail kits and integration; M-299 Hellfire Rail Launchers; DSU-38 Laser Illuminated Target Detector for GBU-54 and MK-81 General Purpose Bombs 250lb Inert Bombs.

The principal contractors will be General Atomic Aeronautical Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Inc., Raytheon Inc., and Leonardo SpA. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).

U.S. Approves $1.6 Billion Weapons-Ready MQ-9B Drone Sale to Australia
Leonardo/Selex SeaSpray radar

This armed-to-the-teeth MQ-9B RPA sale to Australia will make China see red as it has previously opposed the weaponization of the Indian Ocean- ED comment

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