The proposed sale of Small Diameter Bomb II will improve Australia’s F-35 survivability and will enhance its capability to deter global threats
Australia has been granted permission by the U.S. government to order up to 3,900 GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment IIs (SDB IIs) for its F-35A fleet.
The estimated total case value is $815 million.
The proposed sale of SDB II not only supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) but also the foreign policy and national security of the U.S. by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Western Pacific.
Moreover according to Defense Security Cooperation Agency news release, this capability will strengthen combined operations, particularly air to ground strike missions in all-weather conditions, and increase interoperability between the U.S. and the RAAF. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The proposed sale will improve Australia’s F-35 survivability and will enhance its capability to deter global threats, strengthen its homeland defense and cooperate in coalition defense initiatives.
The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ.
Noteworthy the Australian Government announced its selection of the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A Lightning II to replace its legacy Hornet fighter fleet in 2009.
Every F-35 built contains parts and components manufactured in Australia.
By operating the same aircraft as allies in the Asia-Pacific and around the world, the RAAF will take advantage of the F-35’s powerful sensors to share data to an unprecedented level of interoperability. The global fleet of F-35s will also give Australia advantages in economies of scale on production and sustainment of more than 3,000 F-35s for decades to come.
Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Staci Miller / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com