The ADF and the United States Armed Forces will partner to develop a new precision missile capability to further interoperability and modernise both militaries.
Australia has contributed $70 million to the $907 million Precision Strike Missile program (PrSM) to advance long-range precision fire capabilities of Australian and US militaries.
The surface-to-surface, all weather, precision-strike guided missile will be capable of destroying, neutralising and suppressing diverse targets at ranges from 70 to over 400 kilometres.
In a statement, Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Australian Army and the US Military cements this collaboration, with a commitment to increasing the lethality, range and target engagement of the baseline missile in development.
The MOU reportedly 'opens the door' for future Australian industry engagement with potential domestic component manufacture, maintenance, repair, weapon surveillance and research.
Signatory to the MOU, US Army’s Defense Exports and Cooperation, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Wilson, said the agreement formalises one of the US military’s largest cooperative acquisition programs entered into with a partner nation.
“Australia’s cooperation with the PrSM compliments the U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility; reinforces our dedication to allies in the Indo-Pacific; and sets a path forward for U.S. Army Long Range Precision Fires in the region.”
The Australian Army’s Head of Land Capability Major General Simon Stuart, said the precision strike guided missile will provide the Joint Force Commander with long range and deep strike capability from the land.
“Increment 2 of the program, committed under the MOU, will seek to incorporate technology that allows ships and air-defence systems to be engaged,” MAJGEN Stuart said.