Australia has announced its intention to purchase a maximum of 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States, following the approval of the sale by the U.S. State Department on Friday.
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In a move to modernize its fleet and enhance its defense capabilities, Australia has announced plans to purchase up to 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States. The U.S. State Department has approved the sale, which comes just days after Australia’s announcement to buy nuclear-powered attack submarines from the U.S.
The missile purchase will be carried out by Arizona-based Raytheon Missiles and Defense at a cost of almost $900 million. This will allow the country to better protect itself in the Indo-Pacific region amid growing concern about China’s influence.
New Capabilities with the Nuclear-powered Submarines
Country’s officials have stated that the nuclear-powered submarines will be able to fire the Tomahawk missiles. The Virginia-class submarines, which they will acquire under the AUKUS deal, will give the country the ability to strike opponents as far away as possible from the mainland, according to Defense Industry Minister Pat Conroy.
Working with the United States
Defense Minister Richard Marles has said that his country will be working closely with the U.S. to ensure they have longer-range strike missiles, which is a crucial capability for the country. The United States has stated that this proposed sale will support its foreign policy and national security objectives.
Japan’s Military Upgrade Plans
Australia is not alone in its efforts to upgrade its military capabilities to deter China. Japan has also announced plans to upgrade its military, including the purchase of 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles for deployment as soon as 2026.
Concerns Over Submarine Deal
While the submarine deal has raised concerns that it could clear the way for bad actors to escape nuclear oversight in the future, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has stated that the government has been transparent about the expense. He has argued that the purchase and subsequent building of nuclear-powered submarines will increase their capacity to defend itself by more than 10%, making it a good value.
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, however, has criticized the submarine deal, calling it the “worst deal in all history” due to its huge cost. The estimated cost of the submarines is between 268 billion and 368 billion Australian dollars over three decades.
The purchase of Tomahawk cruise missiles is just one part of the country’s efforts to upgrade its military capabilities to better protect itself in the Indo-Pacific region. With the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, Australia will have new capabilities to defend itself against potential threats. While concerns have been raised about the cost and potential nuclear oversight issues, Prime Minister Albanese has defended the deal, arguing that it represents good value and will significantly enhance their defense capabilities.