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State Department approves possible AEA-18G sale to Australia

By Ryan Maass
State Department approves possible AEA-18G sale to Australia
The U.S. State Department has approved a proposed foreign military sale of AEA-18G Electronic Warfare Range Systems to the government of Australia. Airborne electronic attack systems are used by EA-18G Growlers to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Photo by Cmdr. Ian C. Anderson/U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of AEA-18G Growler Aircraft Electronic Warfare Range Systems to the government of Australia.

The possible purchase, initially valued at $115 million, includes two systems, personnel training, integration testing, and other supporting equipment. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages the Foreign Military Sales program, says the materials will be used to support intelligence and surveillance operations within Australia's borders.

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Airborne electronic attack systems, also known as AEA, are typically integrated with a Boeing-made F/A-18F Super Hornet, re-designating the aircraft as an EA-18G Growler in the United States. Australia and the United States are the two primary customers of the electronic attack plane.

In combat, the planes are used to relay data and other information to joint force aircraft, jam enemy communications, and defend against imminent threats using AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.

According to the DSCA, the sale will bolster defensive capabilities for a major non-NATO ally while also serving U.S. security interests. The agency adds the Australian Defense Force should have no difficulty absorbing the systems.

Leidos and General Dynamics Mission Systems are listed as the primary contractors for the proposed sale.

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