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US Clears $207M Maritime Surveillance Systems Sale to Australia

The US State Department has greenlighted the potential sale of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Expeditionary (SURTASS-E) mission systems to Australia.

The proposed sale will reportedly enhance Canberra’s maritime surveillance capabilities to detect enemy submarines.

It would also help the country maintain a strong defense posture and contribute to regional stability, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

Apart from the SURTASS-E mission systems, the Australian government is requesting a shore processing mission system, a spare SURTASS passive acoustic array, communications parts, and necessary support equipment.

It also covers software maintenance, engineering support, training, and logistics support services.

The total cost of the possible sale is $207 million.

Eye on China

Australia’s intention to procure sophisticated maritime surveillance systems comes as China continues to pose security threats in the Indo-Pacific region.

Beijing has reportedly militarized at least three islands in the disputed South China Sea, leading countries such as Australia, Japan, and the Philippines to bolster their maritime capabilities.

The SURTASS-E mission systems to be installed on vessels will help Australia ensure that it has enough anti-submarine capabilities, considering the large sea area it has to cover.

“The ability to provide acoustic wide area surveillance and generate indications and warnings to Australian commands will significantly improve shared maritime security,” the DSCA stated.

“Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”

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