Australia to purchase US 155mm Ammunition and related equipment

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 4, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of 155mm Ammunition and Accessories, and related equipment, for an estimated cost of $132.2 million.
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U.S. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit carry 155mm rounds to an M777 Howitzer gun line in preparation for fire missions in northern Syria. (Picture source U.S. Marines)

The Government of Australia has requested to buy M825A1 155mm White Phosphorous projectile munitions, M782 Multi-Option Fuze for Artillery, M762A1 electronic-timed fuzes, M231 and M232A2 propelling charges, percussion primers, technical publications and books, technical data for operational maintenance, technical assistance and services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $132.2 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

This purchase will enable effective training and extend the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) capability to conduct combined operations. The ADF already has these rounds in service, and is trained and equipped to use them. Australia will not have any difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces.

The M825 White Phosphorus (Felt-Wedge) is a 155mm base ejection projectile designed to produce a smokescreen on the ground for a duration of 5 to 15 minutes. It consists of two major components, the projectile carrier, and the payload. The projectile carrier delivers the payload to the target. The payload consists of 116 WP-saturated felt wedges. After ejection, the WP felt wedges fall to the ground in an elliptical pattern. Each wedge will then becomes a source of smoke. The projectile is ballistically similar to the M483A1 DPICM family of projectiles.