The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of M795 155mm high explosive projectiles for an estimated cost of $148 million. Congress was notified of the possible sale on Wednesday last week.
The ADF has requested to buy 2504 rounds of 155mm HE projectiles, as well as 155mm illumination and white phosphorous munitions, point detonating fuzes, electronic-timed fuzes, M231 and M232/M232A1 propelling charges, percussion primers, technical publications and books, technical data for operational maintenance, technical assistance and services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
"This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the East Asia and Pacific region," the State Department noted.
The proposed sale of 155mm howitzer ammunition will improve the ADF’s capability to meet out-year operational readiness training requirements.
The principal contractor has not yet been decided. Material could potentially be sourced from a combination of stock and procurement.
The State Department's notice of a potential sale is required under US law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
The order follows on from the recent news that the ADF is procuring Assegai artillery ammunition from Rheinmetall under Land 17 Phase 1C.2, a contract worth $100 million. It is the first time that a nation using M777A2 field howitzers has opted for Assegai projectiles.