Saturday, December 4, 2021

After Black Hawk Helicopters, US To Modernize Australian P-8 Poseidon ‘Submarine Hunting’ Aircraft

The US Navy has awarded more than $318 million in three contracts to modernize and sustain Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for the United States and Australia, the Defense Department announced.

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“The Boeing Company [of] Seattle, Washington, is awarded a $131,660,582 modification … contract,” the Defense Department said in a press release on Thursday. “This modification exercises an option to provide P-8A Poseidon CFM56-7B27A/3 and CFM56-7B27AE engine depot-level maintenance and repair in support of the Navy [and] the government of Australia.”

The Navy also awarded a $101.39 million modification contract to StandardAero of San Antonio, Texas, to provide P-8A Poseidon CFM56-7B27A/3 and CFM56-7B27AE engine depot-level maintenance and repair in support of the Navy and Australia, the Defense Department said in a second press release.

The Navy awarded a third modification contract worth $85 million to AAR Government Services in Wood Dale, Illinois, to provide P-8A Poseidon aircraft depot maintenance, service repairs, airframe modifications and replacement of engines in support of the Navy and Australia, another release said.

Earlier, the US had approved a nearly $1 billion sale of 12 MH-60R Black Hawk helicopters to Australia, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced.

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“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters, Related Defense Services, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $985 million,” the DSCA said in a press release on Friday.

The agency has delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale, the release said.

Sikorsky MH-60R SEAHAWK® Helicopters | Lockheed Martin
Sikorsky MH-60R SEAHAWK® Helicopters | Lockheed Martin

“The government of Australia has requested to buy twelve MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters; 30 T-700-GE-401C engines; twelve APS-153(V) Multi-Mode Radars [and] twelve AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems,” the release said.

The deal also includes 34 embedded Global Positioning System/Precise Positioning Service inertial navigation systems with selective availability and anti-spoofing module and 20 Link 16 multifunctional information distribution systems – joint tactical radio system, the release said.

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Australia will also buy in the same package 12 GAU-61 digital rocket launchers, 12 airborne low-frequency sonars, 18 AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems, 18 AN/ALE-47 chaff and flare dispensers, electronic countermeasures and other equipment, the release added.

The proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay, according to the release.

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