Live News: Christmas trade beats expectations next

Live News: Christmas trade beats expectations next

A US-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as the Himars, is used during a military exercise near Skade, Latvia © Gintz Iuskans/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian government said on Thursday it would spend more than A$1bn (US$680mn) on advanced missile defenses, including the US-made Himars system. Succeeded in securing Ukraine From the Russian invasion.

The Himars package, which includes missiles, cruise missiles and training rockets, will provide a “significant capability boost” to the Australian military, the country’s Defense Minister Richard Marles said.

Australian firm CEA will provide the radar system to integrate with the Himars launchers, he added.

The US State Department said in May that it had approved the sale of Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers and related equipment for US$385 million.

The system is expected to be deployed in Australia in 2026-2027.

“In the current strategic environment, it is important that the Australian Defense Force has high-end, targeted military capabilities,” Marles said.

Himars’ announcement comes a day after Canberra signed a deal with Norwegian group Kongsberg to supply naval missiles to Australian destroyers and warships from 2024.

Australia has taken a more elevated defense posture in recent years, with the previous Conservative government increasing military spending and signing a trilateral defense pact with the US and UK in 2021.

Last month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, after a meeting with Marles, said Washington “Deepen our security cooperation” with Canberra.

Austin said the US planned to station more fighter jets, bombers and other assets in Australia to counter China’s “dangerous and coercive” actions in the Indo-Pacific region.

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