The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), announced that a possible foreign military sale to Australia of helicopters, services, and equipment has been approved.
The DSCA noted that Australia has requested to buy 12 "Sikorsky MH-60R" multi-mission helicopters along with a wide range of related equipment and defense services.
According to the agency, the total estimated value of the package is $985 million.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” it said. “Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific.”
“The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region,” the agency said, adding:
“It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
The DSCA gave further details as follows:
“This proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.
Australia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. 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.
The principal U.S. contractor will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, NY. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of the proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor personnel to visit Australia on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical oversight and support requirements, including program and technical reviews.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.”