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Australian government to help develop $1 billion-worth of naval weapons

HMAS Arunta fires an ESSM to test its missile systems after undergoing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade. Photo: Defence

The Australian government will invest $1 billion under Project SEA 1300 to commence the early development of advanced guided weapons to enhance Australia’s maritime security, says the Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds. This significant commitment will modernise the Navy’s platforms to project and maintain sea control, she said.

This project will provide Navy with new, long-range anti-ship missiles, extended range surface-to-air missiles, advanced lightweight torpedoes, and maritime land strike capabilities for its surface combatants and submarines.
With ranges in excess of 370 kilometres for anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, and 1,500 kilometres for maritime land strike missiles, these new weapons will enhance the protection of Australia’s maritime resources and borders, and hold adversaries at risk at much greater distances.
Senator Reynolds said these new investments would be made across the current and future submarine and surface combatant fleets.
“The planned acquisitions – when aligned with the ongoing state-of-the-art combat system development and National shipbuilding programs – represent an investment of up to $24 billion, which will build a lethal and highly responsive Navy for decades to come.”
The project also seeks opportunities to broaden Australia’s weapons manufacturing base, reinforcing this Government’s long-term commitment to Australian industry and delivering sovereign industrial capabilities, she said. At this stage no details of the RAN’s likely innovation needs of local firms have been revealed.
This investment is part of the Australian government’s $183 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan, which will see up to 23 classes of vessels built in Australia.
As part of SEA 1300, Defence will continue its long-term investment and key contribution to the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 missile program, and commence investment in developing the Standard Missile 2 Block IIIC and the Standard Missile 6 Block 1, to meet Australia’s surface-to-air missile capability requirements.

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