The Government of Australia has placed a request to purchase Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRS), and related equipment, from the US.

The $42m possible foreign military sale (FMS) was recently approved by the US State Department. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has also notified the US Congress of this deal.

According to the DSCA statement, Australia requested to buy 106 MIDS JTRS (5) terminals, 15 MIDS JTRS (6) terminals, and seven MIDS-Low Volume Terminal (MIDS-LVT) (4) Block Upgrade Two (BU2) retrofit kits.

The potential sale package will also include Low Volume Terminal (LVT) Cryptographic Modules (LCM).

ViaSat in Carlsbad, California, and Data Link Solutions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will be the principal contractors.

The procurement will improve Australia’s interoperability with US forces, as well as enable it to share secure, jam-resistant tactical data using the military tactical data network, Link 16.

Australia plans to use these capabilities to further strengthen its homeland defence and deter regional threats.

In the statement, the DSCA said: “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-defence capability.”

Last week, the US State Department approved a FMS of the AH-1Z Attack helicopter, and associated equipment, to Nigeria. The potential deal values $997m.