US approves Aus request for spy planes

US approves Aus request for spy planes
A Republic of Singapore Air Force Gulf Stream G550 taking off from RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 14 in 2014.

The US government has given in-principle approval for Australia to purchase up to five Gulfstream G550 aircraft with modified intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare mission systems

The spy planes would boost Australia's self-defence capability and enhance the US's interests in the region, according to the US State Department.

"This sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major contributor to political stability, security and economic development in the western Pacific," the US State Department’s Defense Security Co-operation Agency said.

"Australia is an important Major non-NATO ally and partner that contributes significantly to peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world. It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability."

The estimated cost for the aircraft is $US$1.3 billion.

The DSCA statement said the Australian government requested "the possible sale of up to five Gulfstream G–550 aircraft modified to integrate airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare mission systems, global positioning system capability, secure communications, aircraft defensive systems; spares, including whole-life costs of airborne and ground segments; aircraft modification and integration; ground systems for data processing and crew training; ground support equipment; publications and technical data; US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; flight test and certification; and other related elements of logistical and program support".

Australia would acquire these aircraft in the early 2020s in two tranches to complement its fleet of six E-7A Wedgetail aircraft and its planned purchase of eight Poseidon P-8A surveillance planes.

The prime contractor for this acquisition would be L3 Technologies of Greenville, Texas. 

L3 is a leading provider of a broad range of communication and electronic systems and products used on military, homeland security and commercial platforms. L3 is also a prime contractor in aerospace systems, security and detection systems, and pilot training.

US approves Aus request for spy planes
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted Content
Recommended by Spike Native Network

more from defence connect

May 21 2018
SEA 5000 Aegis integration an 'orthodox activity': Lockheed Martin Australia
In its review of the government’s $89 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan, the Australian National A...
May 18 2018
Lockheed Martin Australia announces new partnerships to honour veterans
Lockheed Martin Australia has confirmed two new partnerships with the Australian War Memorial and th...
May 18 2018
Australian Army firepower capability put on display
The Australian Army showcased its firepower capability during Exercise Chong Ju, held at the Combine...