Australia to purchase $950 million of military aircraft

Dec. 23, 2011 at 2:39 PM

SYDNEY, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Australia's Defense Security Cooperation Agency has announced that the country will buy 10 military planes and other equipment worth $950 million.

The purchase includes C-27J aircraft, missile warning systems and radar intended to assist the Australian military improve its air mobility and capability to run humanitarian and disaster relief operations throughout Southeast Asia, the International Business Times reported Thursday.

The announcement follows the Australia visit of U.S. President Barack Obama last month, who announced Washington's intention to deploy up to 2,500 U.S. Marines to Australia and to open a training base to assist U.S. allies and protect American interests in Asia.

The new aircraft will be used by Australia to replace the air force's fleet of de Havilland DHC-4 Caribous, which were retired in 2009 and to take over the transport role of the Australian air force's Lockheed C-130 Hercules a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, which are scheduled for retirement by 2016.

The C-27J Spartan is built by Italy's Alenia Aeronautica.

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