• Credit: Raytheon
    Credit: Raytheon

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has approved the potential Foreign Military Sale of ‘General Tomahawk Weapons System Support Services Uplift and related equipment’ to Australia.

The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on 10 January, at an estimated total cost of US$250 million ($370 million).

The Tomahawk cruise missile is a precision weapon that launches from ships and submarines and can strike targets precisely at a distance of 1,500 kilometres.

The initial request made by the Australian government was to buy services to support the Tomahawk Weapon System, which include general weapons support services; logistics support management; material support; engineering technical support; management of technical data; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

“The proposed sale will allow Australia to better utilize the Tomahawk Weapon System it is procuring and ensure appropriate weapon pairing is evaluated to identify defined targets more precisely,” the DSCA announcement states.

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

Australia first confirmed it would be procuring the missiles for the Navy’s Hobart-class destroyers as part of the AUKUS announcement in September 2021.

In an announcement last August, Defence Minister Richard Marles said the government had decided to purchase up to 220 Tomahawks from the United States, to equip the navy’s three Hobart-class DDGs, at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion.

The contractors associated with the Tomahawk services will be determined once Defence identifies the annual requirements for weapons uplift support.

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