The US State Department has cleared a possible foreign military sale of anti-radiation missiles to the government of Australia for $506 million.
Canberra has requested up to 63 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles – Extended Range (AARGM-ER), AARGM-ER captive air training missiles, dummy air training missiles, and associated equipment.
The new weapons are expected to improve the country’s capability to meet current and emerging threats.
They can suppress and destroy land or sea-based radar emitters, often part of enemy air defenses.
“This capability denies the adversary the use of its air defense systems, thereby improving the survivability of Australia’s tactical aircraft,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement said.
The proposal is now awaiting the approval of the US Congress before the process is finalized.
The AARGM-ER is a long-range air-to-ground missile developed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
It features state-of-the-art sensors, electronic systems, a high-performance air vehicle, and solid rocket motor.
It also has an advanced warhead that provides a robust counter-air defense capability.
“The necessity for a reliable, standoff, survivable weapon continues to grow as our adversaries’ threat systems become longer range and more lethal,” Northrop vice president Gordon Turner said last year.
“AARGM-ER continues to demonstrate the ability to affordably meet mission requirements and safeguard those protecting our country.”
The weapon is integrated into the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, and F-35 aircraft in the US Navy.