Home Asia Pacific Australia earmarks A$4.1B for more missile systems, local missile production

Australia earmarks A$4.1B for more missile systems, local missile production

Photo: Australian defense ministry

The Australian government has pledged A$4.1 billion to purchase additional long-range strike systems and produce longer-range munitions domestically, in line with the recently-published Defence Strategic Review’s objectives.

The announcement to strengthen Australia’s long-range strike systems and munitions manufacturing, delivering on the priorities of the Defence Strategic Review, was made on April 26.

As part of the review, the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) long-range strike capabilities are set to receive a A$1.6 billion boost, allowing for increased accuracy in targeting and expanded acquisition of long-range missile systems.

This investment will involve the rapid delivery of additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and their associated battle management and support systems, as well as accelerating the acquisition of Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM) to enable multi-domain strike effects.

The remaining A$2.5 billion will be allocated to the Guided Weapons & Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise, with the aim of enhancing self-reliance through local manufacturing of guided weapons and critical components.

Concrete plans will be presented to the government for consideration by mid-2024, including the manufacture of selected long-range strike missiles that will be developed by Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia, increasing local maintenance of air defense missiles, and producing other types of munitions including 155mm artillery ammunition and sea mines.

The investment will also fund critical enablers, including expanding testing and research capabilities and rapidly growing storage and distribution networks to accommodate a growing GWEO inventory, in addition to acquiring more stocks of guided weapons to supplement other Defence acquisition programs.

“We are reshaping the Australian Army and modernizing it for the current strategic circumstances,” the Australian defense ministry stated.

This announcement is part of the Australian government’s A$19 billion commitment over the forward estimates to achieving the priorities outlined in its response to the review, which includes more than doubling the investment for GWEO, and will result in an increase in the ADF artillery range from 40 kilometers to over 500 kilometers.