The Governments of Australia and the United States of America released the following statement on the occasion of the 33rd Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN). Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles hosted the U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on 29 July in Brisbane to advance the Australia-U.S. Alliance and their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and globally. Building on the high tempo of engagement between leaders and ministers, including the meeting between Prime Minister Albanese and President Biden in May 2023, the Ministers and Secretaries determined that the Alliance has never been stronger.
The United States and Australia have reached an agreement to enhance their collaboration in developing guided weapons locally in Australia. The announcement was made during the 33rd AUSMIN held in Brisbane in late July. The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise, a project initiated in 2021. The initial focus of this collaboration will be on jointly producing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. The commitment to pursue several mutually beneficial initiatives, including supporting Australia’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRSs) to be achieved by the year 2025.
Moreover, both countries have decided to streamline their export control processes and facilitate the transfer of technical data to Australia, which will aid in the local production of M795 155 mm artillery shells. Additionally, the two nations will explore opportunities for Australian industries to address any limitations in the US industrial base. Further solidifying their partnership, the US and Australia have also reaffirmed their dedication to advancing the maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrading of priority munitions in Australia. This will initially focus on the MK-48 heavyweight torpedoes and Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) guided weapons.
The principals committed to collaborate on critical technologies and innovation to ensure the Alliance’s asymmetrical capability edge and to explore opportunities for regional co-development, co-production, and co-sustainment aligned to agreed capability priorities. They welcomed opportunities for future collaboration between Australia’s Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator and the U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and Strategic Capabilities Office including on synergies for planned capability programs. Australia’s GWEO Enterprise represents a long-term endeavor to enhance local capabilities in guided weapons research, development, testing, manufacturing, distribution, and maintenance.