The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance has awarded BAE Systems with a contract to provide the mk45 gun for the Royal Australian Navy AWDs in a deal worth $80m.

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, Greg Combet congratulated the Alliance saying that “The weapon will provide the destroyers with both a sea and land warfare capability. The gun has a range of 60nm and will be capable of firing both RAN standard munitions and extended-range munitions.

“The AWD project is a very important procurement project and the government will continue to monitor the progress of the AWD Alliance very closely to ensure that it meets the significant challenges that come with any project of this size and complexity.”

A variant of the gun is already in operation on the RAN’s Anzac Class frigates, in US Navy destroyers, Spanish F100 and in several other navies.

The AWD Alliance has now accepted contracts or identified preferred suppliers for the delivery of equipment worth more than $1bn. This equipment includes the core Aegis combat system for the ship as well as the gun and sonar systems.

The AWD Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation, ASC and Raytheon Australia. The first of the AWDs is scheduled for delivery in late 2014.

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By Daniel Garrun.