Minister for Defence and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles has confirmed that the Commonwealth has committed to acquiring the Naval Strike Missile and HIMARS to boost Australia’s guided weapons capability.
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The new guided weapons program is expected to top $1 billion.
The Naval Strike Missile is expected to replace the Harpoon anti-ship missiles from 2024 for use onboard the Hobart Class destroyer and Anzac Class frigate, following a contract between Defence and Kongsberg.
In addition to the advanced maritime strike capability, the Commonwealth also confirmed the acquisition of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), with the package expected to include launchers, missiles and training rockets.
According to the current schedule, the system will enter service by 2026 and 2027.
The HIMARS, which is billed as having range of up to 300 kilometres, will enhance the warfighting capability of the Australian Army and will be supported by radar location capabilities delivered by Australian company CEA.
“In the current strategic environment, it’s important the Australian Defence Force is equipped with high-end, targeted military capabilities,” Deputy PM and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said.
“The Albanese government is taking a proactive approach to keeping Australia safe — and the Naval Strike Missile and HIMARS launchers will give our Defence Force the ability to deter conflict and protect our interests.”
More to follow.