Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles on Thursday confirmed that Canberra is boosting its long-range strike capability with the purchase of U.S.-made missile systems.
According to Defense Minister, the Australian Defence Force will equip troops with 20 land-based, long-range, surface-to-surface High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) — including launchers, missiles and training rockets.
The HIMARS system will be in use by 2026-27, Defence Minister Richard Marles said.
Australian Defense Industry Minister Pat Conroy told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Thursday that the technology will give the military firepower it has never had before.
“We will have an Army ground-launched missile that can reach targets up to 300 kilometers away.” Conroy said.
He added that, “We are part of a developmental program with the United States called the Precision Strike Missile that will allow [the] army to hit targets in excess of 499 kilometers. So, this will give the Australian army a strike capability they have never had before.”
Canberra also has a deal to acquire the Norwegian-made Naval Strike Missiles — anti-ship and land-attack missiles — for Australian warships next year. They will replace Harpoon anti-ship missiles on the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class destroyers and Anzac-class frigates from 2024.
Two deals worth more than $684 million ($1 billion Australian).