24 April 2009

Australia Orders More Penguins

1 Juni 1999
Kongsberg's Penguin air-to-surface missiles (photo : Militaryphotos)

The Australian Department of Defence has exercised an option worth $76 million to buy additional Penguin air-to-surface missiles and related equipment for the Kaman SH-2G (A) Super Seasprite helicopters on Anzac-class frigates. A contract for additional missiles was signed in Canberra by Gunnar Tuisk, Director General Helicopter and Guided Weapons, and Vidar Sandengen, vice-president of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace.

Super Seasprite heli with the Penguin missiles (photo : AeroplaneArt)

The contract for Phase 2 of the project follows the initial contract for $79 million signed with Kongsberg in February last year which provides for transfer of technology to Australian Defence Industries to allow manufacture of Penguin warheads in Australia. Since funds were available for the planned follow-on purchase, the Phase 2 contract was brought forward to take advantage of prices which will ultimately result in savings in terms of unit cost. Delivery of the missiles is expected to be completed by January 2003.

"Penguins are currently in service in the United States and Hellenic Navies as well as the Norwegian, Swedish and Turkish Defence Forces", said Tuisk after the signing, "but the missiles we are buying are optimised for countering surface threats that the Anzac ships could face in Australia's maritime approaches."

The action to secure phase 2 of the Penguin acquisition quickly will mean a considerable savings to the Commonwealth at the same time contributing to our national security.

Australian industry has had successful involvement in the program through development of an Australian insensitive munitions production capability which will provide the missile warhead."

Sumber : Jane’s

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