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David Johnston: Australia Plans $300M Seasparrow Missile Upgrade

US NAVYAustralia’s defense agency is looking to modernize an Evolved Seasparrow missile system that Australian naval forces use to defend ships against missile threats.

The Australian government intends to extend collaboration with the NATO Seasparrow Consortium and allocate a $300 million budget for the missile upgrade, the Australian defense department said Sunday.

David Johnston, Australian senator and minister for defense, said that Block 2 ESSM technology would be integrated into the Hobart-class air warfare destroyers and Anzac-class frigates.

“These arrangements will also offer significant opportunities for Australian industry to compete for work in the development, production, integration and through-life support of the upgraded Block 2 missiles,” Johnston added.

Australia’s government could decide on ESSM purchases around 2020, according to Johnston.

Member states in the NATO Seasparrow Consortium include the U.S., Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Australia.

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