The reloaded SM-2 — an air and surface defense missile — replaced one launched July 22 during at the start of the Talisman Sabre exercise in eastern Australia
Australia’s navy is set to be armed more than 200 Tomahawk missiles amid concerns over China’s growing military presence in the region.
Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy will on Monday announce a $1.7bn investment in new, hi-tech missiles to expand the strike power of the Australian Defence Force.
The purchase comes off the back of the recommendations made in the defence strategic review to urgently beef-up the ADF’s medium-range advanced and high-speed missile defence capabilities.
The Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles are long-range guided missiles and have a range of up to 1500km.
The Territory government has begun discussions with the Defence Department about the possible deployment of long range missiles in the Top End.
Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Darwin this week, NT Major Projects Commissioner Jason Schoolmeester said the government had begun talks with the commonwealth about potential locations for the rollout.
Announced as part of the Defence Strategic Review released in April, Canberra plans to spend $4.1bn to acquire more long-range strike systems and a missile manufacturing capacity.
Its shopping list includes $1.6bn for long-range strike capabilities including speeding-up the delivery of extra high mobility artillery rocket systems — HIMARS — and the precision strike missiles — PRISM.
It’s hoping the HIMARS, which have a range of up to 300km, will be in place by 2026-27.
Defence plans to spend $2.5bn for guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise as part of its proposed $19bn commitment over the next five years to meeting the review’s priorities.
Mark D Lester, Phantom's chief operating officer, said that "since the US and Australia remain close allies, it is possible we will conduct defence missions" at the Arnhem Space Centre in the future.
Federal government MP Luke Gosling said the country's north would be prepared to play its part. "There's no doubt that the Northern Territory and the Top End will be part of the [nation's] missile story," he said. "Why? Because we're defending Australia, and obviously, you can get more range into the northern approaches to Australia from the Top End."