Australia to Establish Local Missile Manufacturing Facility, More Missile Systems in Tow

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CANBERRA: The Albanese administration is committing AUD$4.1 billion ($2.7 billion) to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions in-country.

The move was made in commensuration of delivering on the priorities of the Defence Strategic Review, said the defence ministry statement.

A key recommendation of the Review is the need to accelerate and expand weapons systems, including land-based maritime strike and long-range missile launchers.

This is complemented by investments to replenish the country’s guided weapons and explosive ordnance (GWEO) stocks and to establish sovereign missile and munition manufacturing facilities in Australia.

The Albanese Government is moving immediately to respond to the Review and committing real funding to these programmes, in the effort to reshaping and modernising the Australian Army to face current strategic circumstances.

This investment in key capabilities will see the Australian Army’s current range for artillery grow from 40 kilometres to in excess of 500 kilometres.

This investment will grow the Australia Defence Force’s ability to accurately strike targets at longer range and expand our acquisition of long-range missile systems, including 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.

The government will also invest AUD$2.5 billion ($1.65 billion) for Guided Weapons & Explosive Ordnance Enterprise. The investment will fund manufacturing guided weapons and their critical components to improve self-reliance, with concrete, costed plans presented for government consideration by the mid-2024 to manufacture selected long-range strike missiles and increase local maintenance of air defence missiles; and manufacture other types of munitions, including 155mm artillery ammunition and sea mines critical enablers needed to underpin an expanded GWEO Enterprise, including increasing our testing and research capabilities and rapidly expanding our storage and distribution network to accommodate a growing GWEO inventory; and acquiring more stocks of guided weapons, supplementing other Defence weapons acquisitions programs.

This announcement is part of Canberra’s AUD$19 billion ($12.54 billion) commitment over the forward estimates to achieving the priorities as set out in the government’s response to the Review, and will see more than double the investment for GWEO than what was previously provisioned.—shp/adj/aaa (Image: USMC)