The US State Department has approved Australia’s request to purchase AGM-88E2 AARGM E2 missiles and related equipment at an estimated cost of US$94 million (A$134.8 million).
The AGM-88E2 is an anti-radiation missile (ARM) for the EA-18G Growler.
Australia has requested to purchase up to fifteen (15) AGM-88E2 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) Guidance Sections; up to fifteen (15) AARGM control sections; up to fifteen (15) high velocity anti-radiation missile (HARM) rocket motors; up to fifteen (15) HARM warheads; and up to fifteen (15) HARM control sections.
Also included in the proposed sale are the AGM-88E2 AARGM All Up Round (AUR) tactical missiles; AGM-88E2 AARGM Captive Air Training Missile (CATM); HARM Code G AUR; HARM G-Code CATM; M-Code GPS receivers; containers; support and test equipment; Support Growler EA-18G test; spare and repair parts; software (classified and unclassified); US government and contractor technical support; and other related logistical and program support elements.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the Defense and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.
“Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic powerhouse contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. It is vital for the national interest in helping our ally develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.
The proposed sale is expected to improve Australia’s ability to suppress and destroy land-based or sea-based radar transmitters associated with enemy air defences.
“Destroying or suppressing enemy radar prevents the adversary from employing air defense systems, thereby improving the survivability of his tactical aircraft,” the DSCA continued. “Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”
The prime contractors will be Northrop Grumman Information Systems (NGIS).