US pledges to help Australia manufacture guided missiles by 2025

Jul 29, 2023, 4:07 AM

From left to right, Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Australia's Deputy Prime Minster Richa...

From left to right, Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Australia's Deputy Prime Minster Richard Marles, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pose for a photo at Queensland Government House in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, July 29, 2023. (Pat Hoelscher/Pool Photo via AP)

(Pat Hoelscher/Pool Photo via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The United States will expand its military industrial base by helping Australia manufacture guided missiles and rockets for both countries within two years, the allies announced on Saturday as they ramped up defense cooperation to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.

The new cooperation on guided weapon production follows a trilateral partnership announcement in March that will see Britain provide Australia with a fleet of eight submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology.

The greater integration of U.S. and Australian militaries was announced after annual talks between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and their Australian counterparts, Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

They agreed to cooperate on Australia producing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems by 2025, a communique said.

U.S. companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin only established an Australian enterprise to build such weapons last year. That followed the drain on Western countries’ munitions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Austin said the move on missiles would strengthen the two allies’ defense industrial base and technological edge.

“We’re racing to accelerate Australia’s priority access to munitions through a streamlined acquisition process,” Austin told reporters in Brisbane, Australia.

Marles welcomed U.S. support to achieve Australian missile production within two years.

“We are really pleased with the steps that we are taking in respect of establishing a guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise in this country,” Marles said.

The two governments also agreed to upgrade joint military facilities in Australia and to increase U.S. nuclear submarine visits as the United States increases its focus on the South Pacific.

The region came to the forefront of the U.S. competition with China for influence last year, when Beijing signed a security pact with Solomon Islands and raised the prospect of a Chinese naval base being established there.

Austin became the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Papua New Guinea and Blinken visited New Zealand and Tonga before they arrived in Australia.

Saturday’s meeting was overshadowed by the loss of an Australian Army helicopter with four air crew late Friday, during military exercises with the U.S. off the northeastern coast of Australia.

U.S., Australian and Canadian militaries are taking part in the search for potential survivors near Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland state coast.

Austin and Marles will travel to north Queensland on Sunday to inspect Talisman Sabre, a biennial military exercise between the two countries that this year includes 13 nations and more than 30,000 military personnel.


FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaks during Sen...

Associated Press

Menendez gains a primary opponent as calls for his resignation grow after indictment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey announced on Saturday that he will run against Sen. Robert Menendez in the state’s Democratic primary for Senate next year, saying he feels compelled to run against the three-term senator after he and his wife were indicted on sweeping corruption charges. Kim’s surprise announcement came as […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., briefs reporters following a closed-door Repu...

Associated Press

With House Republicans in turmoil, colleagues implore GOP holdouts not to shut down government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working furiously to take control of a House in disarray, allies of Speaker Kevin McCarthy implored their Republican colleagues Saturday to drop their hardline tactics and work together to approve a conservative spending plan to prevent a federal shutdown. In public overtures and private calls, Republican lieutenants of the embattled speaker pleaded […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

California bill to have humans drivers ride in autonomous trucks is vetoed by governor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill to require human drivers on board self-driving trucks, a measure that union leaders and truck drivers said would save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state. The legislation vetoed Friday night would have banned self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 […]

8 hours ago

FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Friday, Sept. 2...

Associated Press

Speaker McCarthy gives in to hard-line conservatives in hopes of solving government funding impasse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Staring down a fast-approaching government shutdown that threatens to disrupt life for millions of Americans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has turned to a strategy that so far has preserved his tenuous hold on House leadership but also marked it by chaos: giving hard-right lawmakers what they want. In his eight months running the […]

9 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at Uni...

Associated Press

Biden faces foreign policy trouble spots as he aims to highlight his experience on the global stage

WASHINGTON (AP) — This probably wasn’t how President Joe Biden envisioned his big foreign policy week ending. Biden spent much of the time trying to make the case to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly as well as to Democratic donors and voters that his decades of foreign policy experience and demonstrated moral clarity […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Ukraine targets a key Crimean city a day after striking Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine on Saturday morning launched another missile attack on Sevastopol on the occupied Crimean Peninsula, a Russian-installed official said, a day after an attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet that left a serviceman missing and the main building smoldering. Sevastopol was put under an air raid alert for […]

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

US pledges to help Australia manufacture guided missiles by 2025