Sydney, Australia, Mar 17 (EFE).- Australia confirmed on Friday its intention to buy long-range missiles from the United States as part of the AUKUS security pact, shortly after Washington announced that it authorized the sale of up to 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles to the Oceanic country.
“Making sure we have longer-range strike missiles is a really important capability for the country,” Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles told Channel Nine.
“It enables us to be able to reach out beyond our shores further, and that’s ultimately how we are able to keep Australia safe,” he added.
However, Marles refused to give details on the exact number of long-range missiles Australia will acquire, even though the US Department of Defense announced the approval of the sale of up to 220 Tomahawk cruise missiles worth some $895 million.
The proposed sale of these missiles will improve Australia’s ability to interoperate with the US and other allied forces against regional threats and to strengthen its defense, said a US statement referring to China.
On his part, Defense Industry Minister Pat Conroy Pat Conroy told state-owned ABC that the Tomahawk missiles, which initially will be installed on the Hobart class destroyers, will serve to hold off any potential adversary and promote peace and stability.
Conroy also explained that these missiles could be fired from Virginia nuclear-powered submarines, which will be acquired from the United States as part of a complex multi-stage plan.
“We certainly want the best possible capability for the Australian Defense Force, so that includes the ability to strike opponents as far away as possible from the Australian mainland,” he said.
The AUKUS pact, is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, announced on 15 September 2021 for the Indo-Pacific region, under which the US and the UK will assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines. EFE