CANBERRA, Australia, June 30 (UPI) -- Australia's Defense Department said the government will continue participation in NATO's Seasparrow Consortium for combating anti-ship missiles.
The Evolved Seasparrow Missile by Raytheon was developed by the U.S. Navy and is used on a number of U.S. Navy vessels as well as ships of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Turkey.
Defense Minister David Johnston said the government, which will sign a memorandum of understanding with the NATO Seasparrow Consortium, has allocated about $300 million to support development of an upgraded Seasparrow, "ensuring the safety and effectiveness of Royal Australian Navy operations."
"The upgrade of the Evolved Seasparrow missile system follows on from a number of complementary Anzac-class frigate upgrade projects," Johnstone said.
"The government expects to make a final decision on procurement of upgraded ESSMs around 2020. The government is keen to ensure that every ESSM Block 2 missile that is eventually produced will provide work for Australian industry."