State Department Approves FMS Deals with Australia, Finland
WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has made determinations approving possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of military aircraft-related items to Australia and Finland, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) reported in a Dec. 5 release.
The FMS to Australia is for AEA-18G Electronic Warfare Range System and related support, equipment and training, and has an estimated cost of $115 million. The FMS to Finland is for F/A-18 Mid-Life Upgrade Program and related support, equipment and training, and has an estimated cost of $156 million. The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sales on Dec. 2.
By enabling Australian Defense Force (ADF) ranges, the U.S. government will ensure consistency in training across platforms and theaters, whether the exercises are conducted in the United State or in Australia, where U.S. aircrews will be able to participate in training exercises alongside their Australian counterparts. The proposed sale will allow continued efforts to improve Australia's capability in current and future coalition operations. Australia will use the range to enhance electronic warfare capabilities as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense, according to the DSCA release.
The government of Finland’s request consists of 90 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System. The proposed program support also includes software test and integration center upgrades, flight testing, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, transportation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
The Finnish Air Force intends to purchase the equipment and services to extend the useful life of its F/A-18 fighter aircraft and enhance their survivability and communications connectivity. The service needs this upgrade to keep pace with technology advances in sensors, weaponry, and communications. Finland has extensive experience operating the F/A-18 aircraft and will have no difficulty incorporating the upgraded capabilities into its forces.
The principal contractors will be Raytheon in Waltham, Mass.; Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Md.; The Boeing Co. in St. Louis, Missouri; BAE North America in Arlington, Va.; General Electric in Fairfield, Conn.; General Dynamics in West Falls Church, Va.; Northrop Grumman in Falls Church, Va.; Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; ViaSat in Carlsbad, Calif.; and Data Link Solutions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.