CANBERRA, Australia (London Post with AP) By Dr. Majid Khan – Australia has announced plans to buy up to 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States after the US State Department approved the sale on Friday.
The deal comes days after Australia announced it would buy nuclear attack submarines from the United States to modernize its fleet amid growing concerns over China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.
Australian officials said the new nuclear submarine could launch Tomahawk missiles.
Japan also announced plans last month to upgrade its military to deter China, including the purchase of 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles to deploy as early as 2026.
Australian rocket sale prices are approaching $900 million. Arizona-based Raytheon Missiles and Defense will be the prime contractor.
“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 Defense Minister Richard Marls said Australia will work closely with the United States.Securing long-range missiles is a very important capability for the country,” Maruruz told Channel Nine. can be kept safe.”
Secretary of Defense Industry Pat Conroy said the missiles could be launched from the Virginia-class submarines Australia purchases under her so-called AUKUS deal.
“The Australian Defense Force needs the best possible capabilities, including the ability to engage opponents as far away from mainland Australia as possible,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Cruise missiles are an important part of that, as are the submarines that launch them.”
The submarine deal has raised concerns that it could pave the way for bad actors to evade nuclear surveillance in the future. He vowed to be “very careful” in overseeing the transfer from the United States to Australia.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating lashed out at his country’s plans this week, saying it “must be the worst deal ever” because of the huge costs involved.
Australian officials estimate the cost of the submarine at AU$268 billion to AU$368 billion (US$178 billion to AU$245 billion) over 30 years.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government was transparent about costs.
“The assessment we need is: Will buying and building our own nuclear submarines improve our defense capability by more than 10%? I’m sure,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “So it’s good value for money.”
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