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Australia allocates funds to acquire long-range missiles

The Australian government has allocated AUD4.1 billion to acquire additional HIMARSs, long-range missiles, and guided weapons. The picture shows the US Army firing HIMARS during Exercise ‘Eager Lion' in Jordan. (US Army/Sgt 1st Class Steven Queen)

The Australian government has allocated AUD4.1 billion (USD2.7 billion) to acquire long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions in Australia.

According to a press release by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD), the investment in long-range capabilities will see “the Australian Army's current range for artillery grow from 40 kilometres to in excess of 500 kilometres”.

The major part of the investment – AUD2.5 billion – is allocated for Australia's Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise programme.

The GWEO Enterprise programme seeks to increase Australia's capacity for guided weapon research, development, testing, manufacturing, distribution, and maintenance.

The investment in the GWEO Enterprise programme will fund the manufacturing of guided weapons and their critical components, the DoD said.

The DoD said it has prepared plans to manufacture long-range strike missiles and increase local maintenance of air-defence missiles. The plans also include manufacturing 155 mm artillery ammunition and sea mines. The plans are “presented for the government's consideration by mid-2024”, the DoD added.

Apart from GWEO, AUD1.6 billion is allocated to acquire long-range strike capabilities.

This investment will grow the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) ability to accurately strike targets at longer ranges and expand the acquisition of long-range missile systems, the DoD said.

The funding will accelerate “the delivery of additional High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARSs), and the acquisition of Precision Strike Missiles (PRISMs) to deliver multidomain strike effects”, the DoD added.

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