July 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved potential foreign military sales to Australia worth a total $151.4 million for F/A-18 Super Hornet upgrades and 120mm tank ammunition.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced both sales on Tuesday.
The ammuntion sale, at a cost of about $50 million, would deliver nearly 15,000 rounds of 120mm training ammunition for use by the Australian Army's M1A1 tanks.
The purchase includes technical support, training equipment upgrades and related support, with the shells and equipment coming from existing U.S. Army stockpiles.
Australia's F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet would receive communications, data distribution, and electronic countermeasures systems upgrades at a cost of $101.4 million. It would include U.S. and contractor technical support, assistance, and training, with Harris being the primary provider.
The DSCA has determined that both sales will not negatively affect the security of the U.S. and would bolster security for a major non-NATO ally. Neither sale would seriously affect the balance of power in the region.
The M1A1 Abrams is the primary battle tank of the U.S. and Australian armies, along with many other foreign customers. It mounts a 120mm main gun and several machineguns on a heavily armored chassis. It has seen regular upgrades and is expected to stay in service for decades to come.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a multi-role ground and carrier based fighter jet. It is the primary carrier-based fighter of the U.S. Navy, pending introduction of the F-35 LIghtning II as replacement and supplement. The Royal Australian Air Force currently fields 25 Super Hornets.