Australia to buy up to 220 Tomahawk missiles from US

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia said it planned to buy up to 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States after the U.S. State Department approved the sale on Friday.
The deal comes days after Australia announced it would buy nuclear-powered attack submarines from the United States to upgrade its fleet amid growing concern over China’s influence in the the Indo-Pacific.
Australian officials have said the new nuclear-powered submarines will be able to fire the Tomahawk missiles.
Last month, Japan also announced plans to modernize its military in a bid to deter China, including buying 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles for deployment as soon as 2026.
The sale of Australian missiles costs almost 900 million dollars. The prime contractor will be based in Arizona Raytheon Missiles and Defense.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the State Department said in a statement. “Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific.”
Australian Minister of Defense Richard Marles said his country would work closely with the United States
“Making sure we have longer range strike missiles is a really important capability for the country,” Marles told Channel Nine. on.”
Defense Industry Minister Pat Conroy said the missiles could be fired from Virginia-class submarines that Australia would buy under the so-called AUKUS OK.
“We certainly want the best possible capability for the Australian Defense Force, which includes the ability to strike adversaries as far away from the Australian mainland as possible,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “Cruise missiles are a critical part of that. , just like the submarines that launch them.
The submarine deal has raised concerns that it could pave the way for bad actors to evade nuclear scrutiny in the future. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, pledged this week to be “very demanding” in overseeing the planned transfer from the United States to Australia.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating this week launched a vocal attack on his country’s plans, saying that due to the huge cost, “it has to be the worst deal in history”.
Australian officials have estimated the cost of the submarines at A$268-368 billion ($178-245 billion) over three decades.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government had been transparent about spending.
“The assessment that needs to be made is: does buying and then building our own nuclear-powered submarines increase our ability to defend ourselves by more than 10%? You bet that’s the case,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “That’s why it represents good value for money.”


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