Australia to invest $1.7 Bn on advanced missile systems

The Australian Government is investing more than $1.7 billion on some of the most powerful and technologically advanced missile systems ever fielded by the Australian Defence Force.

It has decided to purchase more than 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States for the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart Class destroyers, for approximately $1.3 billion.

With a range of 1,500 kilometres, the Tomahawk is a world-class long-range strike capability.

Notably, Australia will be only one of three nations to have them, along with the United States and the United Kingdom.

In addition, the Government has approved the acquisition of more than 60 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) missiles from the United States for $431 million.

These air to ground missiles are a specialised missile used to target enemy radar systems.

They will be operated on the Royal Australian Air Force’s Growler and Super Hornet aircrafts and, in future, on the F-35A Lightning II fighter jets.

The Australian Army’s Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles will also be armed with Spike Long-Range 2 anti-tank guided missiles.

This will provide soldiers with the capability to engage with enemy armour at a range of more than five kilometres.

Under a contract worth more than $50 million, Varley Rafael Australia is expected to deliver the first Spike missile early next year.

The Varley Group will present options to Government for domestic manufacturing.