The US State Department has approved the potential sale of 12 MH-60R multi-mission Sea Hawk helicopters to Australia in a deal valued at $985 million, the Pentagon said on Friday, Trend reports citing Al Arabiya.
“This proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay,” the Pentagon said.
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The sale comes at a sensitive time after France’s outrage last month over the US submarine’s pact with Australia cost Paris a multi-billion-dollar deal with Canberra.
The US and Britain announced on September 15 a new Indo-Pacific security alliance that will equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, which is widely seen as a move to counter China’s growing influence in the region.