Australia - Australia Surface Combatant (ASC) Program

­­­The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of long lead items, engineering development activities, and other defense services to support the Australian Surface Combatant Program for an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.  The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on yesterday.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy long lead items, engineering development activities, and other defense services to support the Australian Surface Combatant Program, including the modernization of the three Hobart Class Destroyers, and construction of the first three (of nine total) Hunter Class Frigates which includes: three (3) Shipsets of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) in the MK 6 Mod 1 configuration to support the Modernization of the Hobart Class DDGs; three (3) Shipsets of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) in the MK 6 Mod 1 configuration to support the New Construction of the Hunter Class FFGs; three (3) shipsets of the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLS) for installation on the Hunter Class Frigates; three (3) shipsets (2 mounts per ship) of the Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) for installation on the Hunter Class Frigates; two (2) Australia AEGIS Weapon System Computer Programs (one for Hobart Class, one for Hunter Class), and associated computer programs for AEGIS Combat System components for installation on both the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; six (6) shipsets of the Global Positioning System (GPS) - Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Service (GPNTS) Navigation Systems and associated Advanced Digital Antenna Production (ADAP) antennas and support equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; six (6) shipsets of upgraded Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; six (6) shipsets of Command and Control Processor (C2P) equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; and eight (8) shipsets of Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Set (MIDS JTRS) terminals for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships.  Also included are: three (3) shipsets of MK 34 Gun Weapon System (GWS) modification equipment to include the Electro Optical Sight System and changes supporting Naval Fires Planner and associated TacLink Control System for installation on the Hobart Class Destroyers; three (3) shipsets of MK 34 Gun Weapon System components to include the MK 160 Gun Computing System and the MK 20 Electro Optical Sight System, and the Naval Fires Planner and associated TacLink Control System for installation on the Hunter Class Frigates; three (3) shipsets of: Mode 5/S capable Identification, Friend of Foe (IFF) Systems; Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplexing System (GEDMS); AN/WSN-7 Ring Laser Gyrocompass Inertial Navigation Systems; WSN-9 Digital Hybrid Speed Log systems; Common Data Link Management System (CDLMS); and Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) systems for installation on the Hunter Class Frigates; six (6) shipsets of AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink and SQQ-89 Sonobuoy processing equipment for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; defense services for development and integration of a capability upgrade for the installed AEGIS Combat System on the Hobart Class Destroyer, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability and growth capability for Ballistic Missile Defense; development, integration and testing support for installation of a AEGIS Combat System for installation on the Hunter Class FFG, a Global Combat Ship Type 26 (BAE) platform, including the integration of the indigenous CEAFAR 2 Phased Array Radar (CEA Industries) with the AEGIS Combat System (including Cooperative Engagement Capability) and the primary radar sensor and illuminator; integration of selected Australian provided combat system components including Undersea Warfare and Ship Self Defense for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; integration of the MH-60R helicopter into the AEGIS Combat System for installation on the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; Procurement and delivery of installation support material, special purpose test equipment, initial logistics outfitting, spares and other ancillary equipment to support the installation and integration of AEGIS Combat System equipment in the Hunter and Hobart class ship platforms; development of technical documentation to support both programs; provision of logistics and other support services to support the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; procurement, staging, delivery and installation support for AEGIS Combat System equipment for the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; provision of training support for curriculum development, training tool development, front-end analysis, and crew training for the Hobart and Hunter Class ships; U.S. Government and contractor representative engineering, logistics, and technical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support for the Hobart and Hunter Class ships.  The total estimated cost is $1.50 billion.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.  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 proposed sale will enhance Australia's Surface Combatant capability by modernizing their existing three AEGIS capable Hobart Class Destroyers with the latest technology and capability, and delivering the first three (of nine) AEGIS capable Hunter Class Future Frigates.  This sale enhances Australia's self-defense capability, while significantly improving interoperability with U.S. Navy AEGIS combatants in the region.  By deploying a surface combatant fleet that will incorporate Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), Australia will significantly improve network-centric warfare capability for US forces operating in the region.  Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

There are a significant number of companies under contract with the U.S. Navy that will provide components and systems as well as engineering services during the execution of this effort, with a significant portion of the effort to be performed by Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, NJ.  There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require travel of U.S. Government and/or contractor representatives to Australia on a temporary basis for program support and management oversight.  No extended (long-term) visits to Australia will be required as part of this effort.

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 and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)
Date: Jan 15, 2020