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Defence secures approval for proposed tactical comms system order

The US State Department has greenlit the possible sale of tactical radio systems and related equipment to Australia.

The US State Department has greenlit the possible sale of tactical radio systems and related equipment to Australia.

The Commonwealth government’s proposed request to purchase 106 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) terminals has been approved by the United States, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).


The proposed US$42 million ($56 million) would include the supply of:

  • MIDS JTRS terminals;
  • Multifunctional Information Distribution System MIDS-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade Two (BU2) retrofit kits; and
  • Low Volume Terminal (LVT) Cryptographic Modules (LCM).

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the DSCA noted.

“Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

“It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

The deal is expected to bolster interoperability between Australian and US forces, supporting the exchange of secure, jam-resistant tactical data via Link 16.


“Australia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and strengthen its homeland defence,” the DSCA added.

Principal contractors Viasat and Data Link Solutions would oversee the deal, with representatives expected to visit Australia to provide program and technical support.

This is the latest proposed foreign military sale to Australia, coming just months after the US approved a US$122 million ($168.7 million) purchase request from the Commonwealth government for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) and related equipment.

The deal includes 27 AN/AAQ 24(V)N L LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR) and 30 Guardian Laser Turret Assemblies (GLTA).  

The systems would be used to deliver upgrades to the Royal Australian Air Force’s large air mobility aircraft, which include the C-17A Globemaster, KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, and C-130J Super Hercules fleets.

[Related: US approves Australia’s LAIRCM request for RAAF upgrades]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Defence secures approval for proposed tactical comms system order
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