Ground Warfare

Australian Army on Track for Missile Manufacturing and Increasing Long range Strike Capability

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Australian Army on Track for Missile Manufacturing and Increasing Long range Strike Capability

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Australian Army on Track for Missile Manufacturing and Increasing Long range Strike Capability
Australian Army on Track for Missile Manufacturing and Increasing Long range Strike Capability

The Australian Government will ensure Australia starts manufacturing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles from 2025, following the signing of a $37.4 million contract between Defence and Lockheed Martin Australia. The contract will enable an initial batch of GMLRS missiles to be manufactured in Australia, which is an important first step towards establishing domestic missile manufacturing on a larger scale. It will facilitate the transfer of technical data from the United States, establish processes for engineering certification, and begin to build the technical skills of an Australian workforce. The Australian Government will also acquire Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM). Both PrSM, which can engage targets out to 500km, and GMLRS can be fired from HIMARS launchers.

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP said: “Signing this contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to begin the manufacturing of GMLRS in Australia from 2025 is another example of the Albanese Government delivering key outcomes of the Defence Strategic Review. These are important milestones which will see Australia gain the technology we need to establish a sovereign industry, providing opportunities for a highly-skilled workforce.”

A United Stated Army crewman commands a United States Army M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to the firing point at Delamere Air Weapons Range, Northern Territory.
A United Stated Army crewman commands a United States Army M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to the firing point at Delamere Air Weapons Range, Northern Territory.. (Photo by LSIS Susan Mossop/Australian Government Department of Defence)

Acting Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP said:“This announcement delivers on the Albanese Government’s commitment to reprioritise Defence capabilities in line with the Defence Strategic Review, including developing the ADF’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer range. This important first step towards the establishment of domestic guided weapons manufacturing in Australia will complement the acquisition of long-range precision strike capabilities and strengthen the ADF’s ability to protect Australia and its interests. “This work is a clear demonstration of the ongoing collaboration between Australia and the United States on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise – a key outcome of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in July 2023.”

The Australian Army had requested to purchase 20 HIMARS at a cost of “between one and two billion [Australian] dollars”, with the sale being approved by the U.S. State Department in May 2022. These activities are part of the $4.1 billion investment, announced in response to the Defence Strategic Review, which will enable Defence to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions in Australia. The Australian Government continues to deliver on its commitment to establish domestic missile manufacturing while also accelerating the acquisition of long-range strike capability, strengthening the Australian Defence Force’s ability to defend Australia and its immediate region.

Australian Army on Track for Missile Manufacturing and Increasing Long range Strike Capability
A United States Army M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) fires a MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) at Delamere Air Weapons Range, Northern Territory. (Photo by LSIS Susan Mossop/Australian Government Department of Defence)

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