Australia buys up to 220 Tomahawk missiles from US – Times of India

CANBERRA: Australia said it plans to buy up to 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States after the US State Department approved the sale Friday.
The deal comes days after Australia announced it would buy nuclear-powered attack submarines from the US to modernize its fleet amid growing concerns about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.
Australian officials said the new nuclear-powered submarines would be capable of carrying the Tomahawk missiles.
Japan also announced plans last month to upgrade its military in an effort to deter China, including the purchase of 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles for deployment in 2026.
Australian missile sales cost nearly $900 million. The main contractor will be based in Arizona Raytheon missiles and defense.
“This proposed sale supports 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 Marles said his country would work closely with the US
“Ensuring that we have extended range missiles is a very important opportunity for the country,” Marles told Channel Nine. “It allows us to reach beyond our shores, which is ultimately how we can keep Australia safe.”
Defense Secretary Pat Conroy said the missiles could be fired from the Virginia-class submarines Australia would buy under the so-called AUKUS agreement.
“We certainly want the best possible capability for the Australian Defense Force, so that includes the ability to hit opponents as far from the Australian mainland as possible,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “The cruise missiles are a crucial part of that.” , just like the submarines they launch.”
The submarine deal has raised concerns that it could pave the way for bad actors to escape nuclear scrutiny in the future. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, vowed this week to be “very demanding” in overseeing the planned handover from the US to Australia.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating this week launched a blistering attack on his country’s plans, saying that due to the huge cost “it has to be the worst deal in all history”.
Australian officials have estimated the cost of the submarines at between 268 billion and 368 billion Australian dollars ($178-$245 billion) over three decades.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government was transparent about the costs.
“The assessment to be made is that the purchase, and then we build our own nuclear-powered submarines, increases the capacity for us to defend ourselves by more than 10%? You bet it is,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “So it represents good value.”

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