Australia will buy $385 million worth of mobile rocket launchers from the US, after the Department of State approved the sale of high-tech artillery to one of its closest allies.
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) launchers and related equipment are part of Canberra’s desire to boost its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Australia has been boosting its defence spending over the past few years as China looks to step up its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Last year, Australia entered into a deal to buy nuclear-powered submarines from the US and Britain.
US Weapons Sales
Washington approved several weapons sales worth as much as $3.1 billion to several allies, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, including helicopters to Egypt and missiles to the Netherlands.
Approval by the State Department at this point virtually ensures the sales will go through.
The US also approved the sale of Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters and related equipment to Egypt for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.
The Netherlands increased a previous order for AIM-9X Block II Tactical Missiles and AIM-9X Block II+ Tactical Missiles. The missiles will be made by Raytheon and will cost about $117 million, the Pentagon said.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell