Royal Australian Navy HMAS Sydney fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile at Exercise Pacific Dragon
Royal Australian Navy HMAS Sydney fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile at Exercise Pacific Dragon

Australian Government Moves to Set Up Long-Range Missile Manufacturing

The Australian Government has appointed the head of the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise. The GWEO Enterprise will accelerate the establishment of a local long-range guided weapons and munitions manufacturing industry here in Australia. The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of the inaugural Chief of the GWEO Group, Air Vice-Marshal Leon Phillips OAM. The Defence Strategic Review recommended the appointment of a Senior Officer with the sole responsibility of leading the GWEO Enterprise, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Department of Defence and the Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

Air Vice-Marshal Phillips will be promoted to Air Marshal and will commence his new role on 8 May 2023. A key recommendation of the Defence Strategic Review was to accelerate and expand weapons systems, including land-based maritime strike and long-range missile launchers – to be complemented by investments to replenish Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance stocks and to establish sovereign missile and munition manufacturing facilities in Australia. In response, the Australian Government has committed $2.5 billion over the forward estimates for GWEO, an increase of more than $1.5 billion.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy: “Congratulations to Air Vice-Marshal Phillips on his appointment to this important role, which will oversee the delivery of the ADF’s guided weapons and explosive ordnance requirements. Air Vice-Marshal Phillips has over 36 years of experience in the Royal Australian Air Force predominantly delivering highly complex aerospace projects and managing their in-service support. He has a strong track record of establishing effective partnerships with defence industry. I look forward to working with Air Vice-Marshal Phillips and Australia’s defence industry on delivering critical capabilities we need for our national security.”

This investment will help fund the manufacture of guided weapons and their critical components to improve the Australian Defence Force’s self-reliance and Australia’s export capacity. In total, the Australian Government is committing $4.1 billion over the forward estimates to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions here in Australia. This investment in key capabilities will better equip the ADF to meet our strategic circumstances, including increasing the artillery range of the Australian Army from 40 kilometres to in excess of 500 kilometres.