March 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department approved the sale of air-to-air missiles to Australia, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on Wednesday.
The proposed deal for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and related equipment is valued at $240.5 million.
The Australian defense ministry has requested to purchase up to 108 missiles, six AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented, and six spare AMRAAM guidance sections, as well as associated parts, hardware, engineering support and training.
These items are in support of the country's purchase of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, its ground-based air and missile defense capability.
"Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region," the statement by the DSCA, and agency of the Defense Department, read in part.
The Royal Australian Air Force currently uses Boeing F/A-18, Boeing F-18-E/F and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter planes, and the AMRAAM missiles are compatible with each of them.
Congress was notified of the approval on Tuesday. Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., was designated the prime contractor.