Australia to boost military spending, acquire long-range missiles

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison

New Delhi (NVI): Australia has decided to significantly increase military spending and acquire long-range missiles to protect overseas forces, allies and the mainland against rising threats including China, according to foreign media reports.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today deliver a major update on the country’s defence strategy, including the purchase of long-range anti-ship missiles from the United States to equip its fleet of Super Hornets.

Morrison has also pledged $270 billion on new and upgraded defence capabilities over the next decade – a substantial increase from $195 billion committed in the 10 years from 2016, according to the reports.

Reportedly, in addition to new long-range anti-ship and land-strike weapons, Australia will also commit funds to the development, test and evaluation of high-speed long-range weapons, including hypersonic weapons.

These are a type of high-speed weapons more likely to withstand modern ballistic missile defence systems.

The new strike capability will be acquired to defend Australia and its allies against a number of threats as part of the new strategy, which focuses the nation on protecting itself and its allies in the immediate region of the Indo-Pacific, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Prime Minister Morrison has also said that tensions are rising across the IPR, citing recent border clashes between India and China and tensions in the South China Sea.

“The risk of miscalculation – and even conflict – is heightening,” he warned.

The Australian government has also set three new strategic objectives for defence planning – to shape Australia’s strategic environment; to deter actions against Australia’s interests; and to respond with credible military force, when required, according to media reports.