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Procurement launched for $3.5 billion weapons program

The Australian Government has pressed the green button on  accelerated procurement for weapons capability to the tune of $3.5 billion. 

Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia have been announced as strategic partners to help deliver the Australian Government’s Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise.

Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP announced that Defence will accelerate the acquisition of: 

  • The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) for the Royal Australian Air Force
  • The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet
  • Maritime mines to secure Australia’s ports and maritime approaches.

In what’s billed as a fast tracking of the procurement, the minister says the expedited timetable is being used to deter acts of aggression against Australia.

The weapons package comes after $48.6 billion was unveiled in the recent Federal Budget for Defence. Between the Department of Defence and the Australian Signals Directorate, the allocation is 7.4% increase on FY 22. 

“With Australia’s strategic environment becoming more complex and challenging, our ADF must be able to hold potential adversary forces and infrastructure at risk from a greater distance,” Mr Dutton said. 

“These world-class strike weapon systems will equip our forces to better protect Australia’s maritime approaches and when necessary, contribute to Coalition operations in our region. The JASSM-ER will enable the FA-18F Super Hornet, and in future the F-35A Lightning II, to engage targets at a range of 900km.”

Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia are strategic partners under a $1 billion sovereign weapons manufacturing enterprise.

“We’re trying to establish the industry here and we’re going to do that very quickly and accelerate that as well because we need to, we must,” Mr Dutton said. (SBS). 



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