CANBERRA, Australia, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Raytheon has received an $80.8 million modification contract to provide 25 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar systems to the Australian navy's air fleet.
The contract for the AN/AQS-22 ALFS is under the U.S. Navy foreign military sales program.
ALFS is also the primary undersea warfare sensor for installation in the U.S. Navy's MH-60R multi-mission helicopter.
Raytheon said its ALFS identifies and neutralizes threats faster because of a rapid search rate that enables it to cover a larger area than other sonars. It also has a longer detection range capability which means fewer helicopters are needed to cover a large geographic area.
In June Australia signed a $3 billion deal for 24 MH-60Rs to replace the navy's 16 Sikorsky S-70B Seahawks.
Two MH-60Rs will arrive in mid 2014 for testing and operational use scheduled for 2015. The ultimate goal of having 24 aircraft is to provide eight warships with continual helicopter operations.
The contract represents the first international sale of the advanced anti-submarine warfare sensor, Raytheon said.
"ALFS is a key tenet of our naval strategy, providing us a robust, rapid and far-reaching anti-submarine warfare capability," said U.S. Navy Capt. Jim Glass, program manager for the MH-60 helicopter.
"Now with the sale to Australia, we are providing our airborne ASW sensor of choice to advance the capabilities of a valued, allied fleet."
Raytheon's Australian ALFS deal comes after the news in December that Raytheon's Trusted Computer Solutions division, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Raytheon Co., is in partnership with Thales Australia to deliver a next-generation desktop environment to Australia's Department of Defense.
The system uses the division's Trusted Thin Client software and thin client hardware, RTCS said. The goal is to have a less complicated, less expensive system that is easier to operate.
"Users no longer will require a separate desktop configuration for each network accessed," an RTCS statement said. It "provides simultaneous yet separate access to the Defense Restricted Network and the Defense Secret Network using one desktop configuration."
Less hardware is needed and "end-user workspaces are less cluttered and more energy efficient, requiring less wiring, cooling and power to operate."
RTCS Chief Operating Officer Ed Hammersla said the ability to reliably access information on multiple sensitive networks across the enterprise is critical to national security in the United States and with its allies.
Australia's Department of Defense will spend $6.2 million on piloting 500 of the thin client desktops by June next year, a report by the Australian IT Web site CRN said. Full rollout is expected by 2015.
"The eight-month pilot comes ahead of a 100,000-user overhaul of its desktop environment, which will call on technology from four partners including Microsoft and Citrix," CRN said.