by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Apr 7, 2016
The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of GBU-39 bombs to Australia through the Foreign Military Sales program.
The deal, which includes associated equipment and support, carries a price tag of $386 million.
"Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific," The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its required notification to Congress. "The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region."
DSCA manages the Foreign Military Sales program.
Australia is specifically seeking as many as 2,950 GBU-39/Bs, which are small diameter bombs, and as many as 50 Guided Test Vehicles with GBU-39 (T-1)/B inert fuzes.
Other items sought include bomb containers, weapons system support equipment, support and test equipment, site survey, transportation, repair and return warranties, spare and repair parts, maintenance, personnel training, and training equipment.
"The sale of SDB I (small diameter bomb) supports and complements the on-going sale of the F-35 to the Royal Australian Air Force," DSCA said. "This capability will strengthen combined operations and increase interoperability between the U.S. Air Force and the RAAF."
The principal contractor for production would be Boeing.
Navy orders more missile canisters for MK 41 VLS system
More than 300 canisters for the MK 41 vertical launching system, or VLS, are to be supplied under a contract modification worth $38.2 million, BAE Systems said.
"We have a long history with the Mk 41 VLS that touches every aspect of the program, from designing and producing the canisters to installing and testing the launching systems," said Joe Sentfle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. "The canister contract is a testament to our sought-after expertise in supporting this world-class missile launching capability."
the MK 41 VLS, positioned beneath a ship's deck, is capable of launching a variety of missiles and acts as their launch rail to support flyout during missile firings. They also provide identification and firing support to missiles such as the Tomahawk, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, and Evolved SeaSparrow Missile.
The modification is to a five-year contact issued in 2013. Work under the modification will be conducted through 2018 ay facilities in Aberdeen, S.D.
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