• An AGM-88E2 AARGM is launched from an F/A-18 during testing. (Northrop Grumman)
    An AGM-88E2 AARGM is launched from an F/A-18 during testing. (Northrop Grumman)

The US State Department has approved Australia's request to purchase AGM-88E2 AARGM E2 missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$94 million (A$134.8 million).

The AGM-88E2 is an Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) for the EA-18G Growler.

Australia requested to buy up to fifteen (15) AGM-88E2 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) Guidance Sections; up to fifteen (15) AARGM Control Sections; up to fifteen (15) High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) Rocket Motors; up to fifteen (15) HARM Warheads; and up to fifteen (15) HARM Control Sections.

Also included in the proposed sale are AGM-88E2 AARGM All Up Round (AUR) tactical missiles; AGM-88E2 AARGM Captive Air Training Missile (CATM); HARM G-Code AUR; HARM G-Code CATM; M-Code GPS receivers; containers; support and test equipment; EA-18G Growler test support; spare and repair parts; software (Classified and Unclassified); US Government and contractor engineering support; and other related elements of logistical and program support. 

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

"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-defense capability."

The proposed sale is expected to improve Australia’s capability to suppress and destroy land- or sea-based radar emitters associated with enemy air defenses.

"Destruction or suppression of enemy radar denies the adversary the use of air defense systems, thereby improving the survivability of its tactical aircraft," the DSCA continued. "Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces."

The principal contractors will be Northrop Grumman Information Systems (NGIS).

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