WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $1.5 billion in maintenance services, spare parts and logistics for Australia’s fleet of Boeing Co F/A-18E/F and EA-18G fighter jets, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which executes foreign military sales, notified Congress on Tuesday about the possible deal, which also includes software and hardware updates, testing and training.
Lawmakers have 15 days to block the sale, although such action is rare.
The deal would help the Royal Australian Air Force ensure the reliability and performance of its 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and 12 EA-18G electronic attack planes, while increasing its ability to operate together with U.S. forces, DSCA said.
Boeing is hoping to land new orders for the two fighter aircraft to extend production at its St. Louis facility, which is currently slated to end in 2017.
The company got a boost this week when the House Armed Services Committee included $1.15 billion in funding for 12 additional Super Hornet combat jets in its proposed fiscal 2016 defense spending bill.
A source familiar with the matter said Kuwait was also expected to submit a formal letter of request and letter of acceptance for 28 F/A-18E/F jets to the U.S government in the near term.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ted Botha