Source: The Australian
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will spend $117 million to purchase new radio jammers to stymie attacks on Australian patrols against deadly Taliban explosive devices in Afghanistan.
The ADF will buy the 265 radio-controlled IED electronic warfare (CREW) systems in what the US Defence Department describes as an “urgent procurement” for Australian troops in “support of Operation Enduring Freedom”.
The systems are designed to thwart the practice by the Taliban of remotely detonating IEDs when a patrol passes by.
The move is set to help counter the growing threat posed by improvised explosive devices in Oruzgan province, one of which last week killed Corporal Richard Atkinson.
"The CREW systems are vehicle-mounted electronic jammers designed to prevent the initiation of radio-controlled IEDs," the US Defence Department said.
The ADF already has CREW systems in operation in Oruzgan, but said the purchase of the extra 265 systems would help "round out" its numbers.
A spokesman said the ADF believed it had sufficient CREW systems for its current needs in Afghanistan, but the extra systems would provide a "spares pool", and many of them would be "dispatched to Afghanistan to replenish stock holdings as priorities dictate".
The ADF said yesterday that Australian and Afghan soldiers in Oruzgan had recently discovered 20 pre-prepared IEDs among a large quantity of explosives, ordnance and weapons taken from insurgents located within the Baluchi Valley area of Oruzgan province.
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