Australia re-commits to Seasparrow consortium

The Australian government says it will remain part of the Seasparrow missile consortium and help development of an upgrade to the naval system.
By Richard Tomkins   |   June 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

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."

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