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Australia requests deal for Shadow 200 UAS

Australia has requested the possible purchase of two AAI Shadow 200 unmanned aircraft systems for operational use in Afghanistan.

Worth a potential $218 million, the requirement was outlined by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in a notification to Congress on 6 May.

If advanced, the deal will include an undisclosed number of air vehicles, four ground control stations and related support equipment, plus spare parts and training services.

© Sgt Jason Dangel/US Army

"Australia's efforts in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have served US national security interests," the agency says. "The proposed sale will improve Australia's capability to support ongoing ground operations in Afghanistan."

Canberra's interest in the Shadow 200 system follows its cancellation in 2008 of the army's Joint Project 129 deal to buy I-View 250 tactical UAS from a Boeing Australia/Israel Aerospace Industries team.

Australia is using leased IAI Heron 1 systems in Afghanistan as an interim measure.

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