SCOMO GOES BAL­LIS­TIC

Long-range mis­siles to de­ter en­e­mies

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Front Page - CLARE ARM­STRONG

AUS­TRALIA will de­ploy new long-range mis­siles into the Indo Pa­cific re­gion to de­ter po­ten­tial en­emy at­tacks as part of a $270 bil­lion in­vest­ment in our de­fence. The mis­siles can travel three times fur­ther than our cur­rent weapons.

AUS­TRALIA will de­ploy new long-range mis­siles into the Indo Pa­cific to de­ter en­emy at­tack as part of a $270 bil­lion in­vest­ment in our na­tion’s de­fence over the next decade. As China be­comes in­creas­ingly ag­gres­sive in the re­gion, Aus­tralia will seek to project its own mil­i­tary power, bol­stered by $800 million worth of AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Mis­siles to be pur­chased from the US Navy. The mis­siles, which are loaded onto a plane or ship, can travel up to 370km — about three times fur­ther than Aus­tralia’s cur­rent weapons ca­pa­bil­ity. Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son will today use a speech at the Aus­tralian De­fence Force Academy in Can­berra to out­line Aus­tralia’s plan to flex its mil­i­tary mus­cles by in­vest­ing in hi-tech weapons, cy­ber se­cu­rity and recruiting a fur­ther 800 de­fence per­son­nel.

Mr Mor­ri­son will point to in­creas­ing ten­sions be­tween China and other coun­tries in the Indo Pa­cific re­gion as po­ten­tial threats to Aus­tralia.

“Ten­sions over ter­ri­to­rial claims are ris­ing across the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion, as we have seen re­cently on the dis­puted bor­der be­tween In­dia and China, in the South China Sea, and in the East China Sea,” the Prime Min­is­ter will say.

“The risk of mis­cal­cu­la­tion — and even con­flict — is height­en­ing.

“Re­gional mil­i­tary mod­erni­sa­tion is oc­cur­ring at an un­prece­dented rate. Co­er­cive ac­tiv­i­ties are rife.”

Mr Mor­ri­son will make the case for Aus­tralia need­ing the abil­ity to strike against ag­gres­sors from long dis­tances in order to de­ter po­ten­tial at­tacks.

“(Aus­tralia) must be able to hold po­ten­tial ad­ver­saries’ forces and

in­fra­struc­ture at risk from greater dis­tance, and there­fore in­flu­ence their cal­cu­lus of costs in­volved in threat­en­ing Aus­tralian in­ter­ests,” he will say.

“This in­cludes developing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in ar­eas such as longer-range strike weapons, cy­ber ca­pa­bil­i­ties and area de­nial sys­tems.”

The Gov­ern­ment’s 2020 De­fence Strat­egy Up­date to be re­leased today out­lines the $270 bil­lion over a decade, which is up from the $195 bil­lion out­laid in the last De­fence White Paper in 2016.

It in­cludes $75 bil­lion for new mar­itime ves­sels and un­der­sea sur­veil­lance sys­tems as part of the big­gest re­gen­er­a­tion of the Royal Aus­tralian Navy since World War II.

A fur­ther $65 bil­lion will go to­wards air de­fence, in­clud­ing $17 bil­lion for new fighter air­craft and up to $9.3 bil­lion on developing hy­per­sonic weapons. The US, Rus­sia and China have been in a race to de­velop the hitech weapons, which can travel at least five times the speed of sound and are al­most im­pos­si­ble to in­ter­cept.

Land forces will also re­ceive $55 bil­lion over the next decade, in­clud­ing more long-range rock­ets and ar­tillery sys­tems.

Mr Mor­ri­son will say Aus­tralia needs to “face the re­al­ity” that the world has moved into a “less be­nign strate­gic era” that threat­ens the country’s pros­per­ity and se­cu­rity.

“The sim­ple truth is, even as we stare down the COVID pan­demic at home, we need to also pre­pare for a post COVID world that is poorer, more dan­ger­ous and more dis­or­derly,” he is ex­pected to say.

“The en­dur­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity of gov­ern­ment, how­ever, is time­less — to pro­tect Aus­tralia’s na­tional in­ter­ests, our sovereignt­y and the se­cu­rity of the Aus­tralian peo­ple.”

Mr Mor­ri­son will send a strong mes­sage to the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion, telling the world Aus­tralia “won’t sur­ren­der” its free­doms or sovereignt­y “ever”.

“We’re about be­ing good neigh­bours, pulling our weight and lend­ing a hand,” he will say.

“We don’t seek to en­tan­gle or in­tim­i­date or si­lence our neigh­bours.

“We re­spect their sovereignt­y. And we ex­pect oth­ers to re­spect ours.”

Mr Mor­ri­son will high­light the im­por­tant role Aus­tralia and other coun­tries such as Ja­pan, In­dia and South Korea can play in main­tain­ing se­cu­rity in the re­gion at a time when the US and China are at odds.

“Re­la­tions be­tween China and the United States are frac­tious,’’ he’ll say.

The risk of mis­cal­cu­la­tion – and even con­flict – is height­en­ing. Re­gional mil­i­tary mod­erni­sa­tion is oc­cur­ring at an un­prece­dented rate.” PM Scott Mor­ri­son PM Scott Mor­ri­son The sim­ple truth is, even as we stare down the COVID pan­demic at home, we need to also pre­pare for a post COVID world that is poorer, more dan­ger­ous and more dis­or­derly.”

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