The Prime Minister of Australia today announced 270 billion Australian dollars (166 billion euros) in additional defense spending over the next decade, which will include long-range missiles.
Scott Morrison warned that the post-pandemic world will become more dangerous and announced a renewed regional focus, although there continues to be an openness for the military to participate in coalitions led by the United States, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, campaigns rated as of interest. national.
Australia has not seen as much economic and strategic uncertainty in the region since the Second World War, for reasons that include tensions between the United States and China, he said.
"This simple truth is this: even looking at the covid-19 pandemic at home, we also need to prepare for a poorer, more dangerous and more disordered 'post-covid' world," said Morrison.
Tensions over territorial claims are increasing between India and China and the South China Sea, he said.
"The risk of miscalculation and even conflict is greater", not least because "regional military modernization is happening at an unprecedented rate", he said.
Australia will invest in more lethal and far-reaching resources to keep potential enemies off its back.
To increase maritime attack capacity, Australia will purchase the AGM-158C missile from the United States Navy (US) at an estimated cost of 800 million Australian dollars (491 million euros), the Government said.
The new missile is a significant upgrade to the current Harpoon anti-aircraft missile, launched in Australia, AGM-84, which was introduced in the early 80s. It has a range of 124 kilometers, while the missile to be purchased may exceed 370 kilometers.
The new missile will initially be used on the F / A-18F Super Hornet fighters, but can be used by other defense aircraft. Training in the weapons system will begin next year, the Government said.
Australia will also invest in advanced naval attack resources, including long-range weapons against ships and ground attacks, and in missile systems to give the army an operational strike capability.
On the other hand, it plans to develop and test high-speed, long-range attack weapons, including hypersonic weapons.
The announcement comes when Australia's relationship with China, the most important trading partner, is under pressure following Australian requests for an independent pandemic investigation.
The United States, Australia's most important security partner since World War II, remains “the foundation of (…) defense policy” for Australia, ”said Morrison.