• A NASAMS Canister Launcher, firing an AMRAAM missile. (Defence)
    A NASAMS Canister Launcher, firing an AMRAAM missile. (Defence)

The government has confirmed it is spending $4.1 billion to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions here in Australia, in response to the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review. 

One of the key priority areas of the Review released publicly on Monday is the need to accelerate and expand weapons systems, as well as replenish Australia's guided weapons and explosive ordnance (GWEO) stocks and establish sovereign missile and munition manufacturing facilities in Australia. 

Under the package, $1.6 billion will be set aside for long range strike capabilities to grow the ADF’s ability to accurately strike targets at longer range and expand acquisition of long-range missile systems.

This includes accelerating the delivery of additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and associated battle management and support systems, and accelerating the acquisition of Precision Strike Missiles (PRISM) to "deliver multi-domain strike effects".

An additional $2.5 billion will be invested into the Guided Weapons & Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, to manufacture guided weapons and their critical components to "improve our self-reliance", with plans to be presented for government consideration by mid-2024.

This will fund the manufacture of selected long-range strike missiles and increase local maintenance of air defence missiles; the manufacture of other types of munitions, including 155mm artillery ammunition and sea mines; increasing testing and research capabilities and expanding Australia's storage and distribution network to accommodate a growing GWEO inventory; and acquiring more stocks of guided weapons, supplementing other Defence weapons acquisitions programs.

The government says this investment will see the Australian Army’s current range for artillery grow from 40 kilometres to in excess of 500 kilometres, "reshaping" the Army and "modernising" it for current strategic circumstances.

The announcement is part of the $19 billion in funding already commited by the government to achieve the priorities set out in the the Review, and will reportedly see more than double the investment for GWEO than what was previously provisioned.

comments powered by Disqus