Australia will spend US$833 million to boost its long-range strike capabilities as it finalised a deal to buy more than 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States, part of a wide-ranging defence shake-up.
Australia will be only one of three nations to have Tomahawks along with the U.S. and Britain, Defence Minister Richard Marles said.
The U.S. State Department in March approved the sale of the Tomahawks, which have a range of 1,500 km, but did not indicate at the time that a contract had been signed or talks had concluded.
The ship-launched version of the missiles will be deployed on the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class destroyers.
Australia says it needs to upgrade its defence forces as China is undertaking the biggest military build-up since the end of World War Two.