Long-range rockets ordered for Australian Army and RAN – before Strategic Review finalised

Defence has signed contracts with the US DoD to deliver High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems to the Australian Army and with Norway’s Kongsberg to deliver Naval Strike Missiles to the Royal Australian Navy.

FILE PHOTO (2021): High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps launch rockets during a firepower demonstration at Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, during Talisman Sabre. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.

Naval Strike Missile (NSM) will be employed on Hobart-class destroyers and Anzac-class frigates, replacing the ageing Harpoon anti-ship missile on those ships from 2024.

Defence says NSM contains leading-edge technology that will provide Royal Australian Navy ships with a powerful maritime strike capability.

NSM is a long-range, precision strike weapon designed to defeat heavily protected maritime targets in contested environments, with a secondary role for land attack.

   

The 400kg missile has a 120kg warhead – and costs US$2.2million per shot.

A Kongsberg press release said this was “an accelerated acquisition under Project SEA1300”.

Defence will also acquire the land-based, long-range, surface-to-surface High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which includes 20 launchers, missiles and training rockets, for an estimated cost of US$385 million.

HIMARS is scheduled to be in use by 2026-27, providing the Australian Army with a significant capability boost.

HIMARS munitions currently have a range of up to 300 kilometres, which is expected to increase with technological advances.

HIMARS includes a weapon-locating radar to detect and respond to land, air and maritime threats, which is being delivered by Australian company CEA.

The combined total investment in these new acquisitions is more than $1billion.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said that in the current strategic environment, it was important the Australian Defence Force was equipped with high-end, targeted military capabilities.

“The government is taking a proactive approach to keeping Australia safe – and the Naval Strike Missile and HIMARS launchers will give our defence force the ability to deter conflict and protect our interests,” Mr Marles said.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy the government was getting on with delivering the Australian Defence Force the capability it needed for the 21st century.

“The level of technology involved in these acquisitions takes our forces to the cutting edge of modern military hardware,” Mr Conroy said.

“Naval Strike Missile is a major step up in capability for our navy’s warships, while HIMARS launchers have been successfully deployed by the Ukrainian military over recent months and are a substantial new capability for the Army.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: How come these weapon contracts proceeded on schedule before the vaunted Defence Strategic Review 2022 is delivered, while others, which are now overdue, were halted until after the review?
Oh wait – it couldn’t be because the government already made up its mind which projects to progress and which projects to abandon, before the report is finalised, could it?


 
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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

21 thoughts on “Long-range rockets ordered for Australian Army and RAN – before Strategic Review finalised

  • 15/01/2023 at 1:32 pm
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    Don’t you love free speech 🙂
    I think our first wise move would be to introduce a Civil/military service conscription.
    Why civil and military? Well if you look at Ukraine for instance a lot of things happen behind the front line needing well placed and well trained emergency services organisations – just look at the bush fires and floods and how pressed the SES and other organisations were and nobody was in a shooting war. A2/AR is all very well but with our area of operations we need to think hard . Everybody has a giggle about the Brisbane Line but at the time they were being ruthlessly realistic about Blue Team capabilities.
    Just looking around we don’t seem very serious about things. 1 supersonic multi war head cruise missile (even conventional) per key base would decimate any of our military airbases and those lovely F35s before we could scratch our arses.
    The Chinese, as an example, have thousands of years’ experience playing with skyrockets and as was found in Ukraine the air war is not a pretty sight and Red Team this time will not be a small, limited force.
    I don’t think we could ever convince anybody we are neutral so next best is to work very hard at diplomacy to buy time (because the big fellas will do what they do anyway) to create a circle of friends and depth to our north – especially India, South Korea, Japan, PNG, Indonesia etc and other pro human value thinking countries to create as spikey a situation as possible if somebody wants to steal our stuff.

    Reply
  • 06/01/2023 at 1:11 pm
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    What use will Qty 20 HIMARS launchers be against a huge country with the anger and determination to attack northwest WA – especially as the HIMARS units will only be allocated to units in the east of Australia

    Reply
  • 06/01/2023 at 12:18 pm
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    I can’t help myself, “when will we get them and when will we get to use them”, you ask?

    Oh, I don’t know probably about the time the politicians of the day re-draw the Brisbane line and that will be when China invades Broome and Darwin. That of course will be after it’s run out of pacific atolls to reclaim oh yeah and let’s not forget Taiwan.

    Reply
  • 06/01/2023 at 7:18 am
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    The recently-replaced head of strategic planning commented on the ABC that HIMARS was a suitable choice for continental warfare and was not selected under her leadership. Do we plan for a land invasion of Australia or will we take them with us to our next overseas campaign… to where?

    Reply
  • 06/01/2023 at 7:15 am
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    The ABC’s announcement was that they have ranges of 350km at one point and 500km later. Then the minister in his wisdom declares “more than 499km.”
    Do our elected leaders go out of their way to appear stupid or does that just come naturally?

    Reply
  • 05/01/2023 at 5:18 pm
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    Why does it take 3-4 years when Ukraine can get them in 3-4 weeks …..??????

    Reply
    • 05/01/2023 at 6:45 pm
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      Why at least 4 years?

      Well firstly.
      There is replenishment of America (First!) and the other 5 out of the 195 Countries in the World, ‘blessed’ to have their Himars Arsenals depleted in the support of Ukrainian Freedumb.
      Just that’s gonna take forever!

      Then, there’s the outfitting the new N.A.T.O. expansion right up to the Russian Border, i.e. The Baltic States.
      They’re literally ‘Loading for Bear’, so they’ll take top-price shit tonnes a.s.a.p.

      There’s new Customers like Poland, Romania, etc., and the Middle East, of course.

      Of course there’s Taiwan.
      Were the Majority of people are happy with reunfication, but got terrified into signing up 4 months ago for a several Cubic Shit Tonnes MORE Himars. Also another ‘expensive express delivery’.

      Then.
      It will be Australia’s turn.

      Why, you ask?
      Because we will always be there.
      Barking from behind the Yanks skirts and waiting for our orders.

      Neutrality for Australia.

      YANKEE GO HOME !!!

      Peace.

      Reply
      • 06/01/2023 at 8:17 am
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        Just where do you get your so called facts!!!

        Reply
      • 06/01/2023 at 9:44 am
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        Hi Michael, We don’t do anything to assist in guaranteeing neutrality like say Switzerland. On the flip side Australia sits on heaps of attractive and valuable resources and more will be discovered. Switzerland uses terrain, togetherness (try to become a Swiss citizen) and preparedness. For Australia to simulate just the preparedness we would need to do many things. Become united and determined, have some form of compulsory training, physically prepare our defences, massively increase our defence industry manufacturing capacity. That’s just for starters. It is way cheaper to have friends. “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
        I recommend you should stop complaining and suggest how we could become neutral and maintain that neutrality. Go on!
        As for the four years delivery timeline, other countries have a more urgent need. I thought that was obvious.

        Reply
        • 06/01/2023 at 1:29 pm
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          Cheers Stephen, thanks for playing.

          You mention Switzerland’s Geography assisting their Neutral stance.
          You don’t think an Island Continent in the South Pacific Ocean, with Antarctica to the South, thousands of Miles of empty Oceans to the East and West, and densely crowded Archipelagos to the North DOESN’T have a Geographic advantage?
          I certainly do.

          Australia is not united?
          Mate, have you been the the U.S.?
          There’s a country with one Civil War under its belt, and if they could figure out how to, they’d be at it again tomorrow.
          There is nothing wrong with Australia’s Social cohesiveness at all.
          Where would you rather raise your Family? The U.K.? Europe?
          Not!

          QUOTE ”It is way cheaper to have friends”.
          What complete Bullshit!!
          Tell that to the Vietnam and Afghan vets and their families, except for the K.I.A., W.I.A. and the thousands that topped themselves since.
          Because it was cheaper?
          Cheaper for WHO?

          QUOTE “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
          Have you never heard of Diplomacy?
          It used to be a thing that worked quite well.
          You’re just parroting the Mantra of Boeing, Raytheon and McDonnell Douglas.
          (Check out their share prices since the Ukraine shindig kicked off!).

          QUOTE ”stop complaining and suggest how we could become neutral and maintain that neutrality”.
          Thanks for asking!

          Firstly, that out of fashion ”Diplomacy” I mentioned.
          ”The best War is the one you don’t have.”
          Imagine if we had deep relationships and friendships with all the S.E.Asian and Pacific Countries, a wall of mates to the North and East.
          It wouldn’t be hard at all, if we got our heads out of our arse and gave them the respect they all deserve.
          Staying out of U.S. Proxy Wars with people on the other side of the Planet would help a lot too.

          The only other thing needed is a decent A2/AD system, similar to the Chinese model.
          It’s got the Yanks shit scared and will put the R.A.N. on the sea bottom pretty soon, so it must be good.

          QUOTE ”As for the four years delivery timeline, other countries have a more urgent need”.
          Yeah, that’s why I listed those ‘needs’ in my above post, Fear, coercion, N.A.T.O. expansion, etc.

          I hope I’ve answered your post and perhaps given you some new concepts to think about.

          Neutrality for Australia.

          YANKEE GO HOME !!!

          Peace.

          Reply
      • 07/01/2023 at 9:15 am
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        Look at History, your comments are uncalled for. By the sounds of it, you will be first one to scream for help if we are attacked.

        Reply
        • 07/01/2023 at 9:57 am
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          Cheers for your comment Robert.

          You seem surprised an ex Australian Infantryman would be calling for Peace and Neutrality.
          I mean really, what would I know?

          Neutrality for Australia.

          YANKEE GO HOME

          Peace.

          DUTY FIRST.

          Reply
  • 05/01/2023 at 4:47 pm
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    How many HIMARS launchers are we talking? 3? 12?

    Reply
    • 05/01/2023 at 4:52 pm
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      Good question not originally covered in this story, Daniel – but since confirmed by Lockheed Martin as 20 HIMARS and associated hardware, for an estimated cost of US$385 million.

      Reply
    • 05/01/2023 at 7:54 pm
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      Good kit, we just need to wait until we are invaded to use them

      Reply
      • 05/01/2023 at 10:25 pm
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        Australia always follows the USA in invading countries. These missiles look less than useless unless Australia has the whole strategic tools to use them like satellites and every think else. Like everything Australia wastes its money on, F35 bombers that need tankering yo get from Sydney to Brisbane. Tanks that would take weeks to get to any battle.

        Reply
  • 05/01/2023 at 4:15 pm
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    Re. your editors note –

    Geeez, you’re cynical, Mr. Editor haha.

    Reply
    • 05/01/2023 at 4:20 pm
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      Who, Moi?
      😉

      Reply
      • 05/01/2023 at 4:34 pm
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        ” If the cap fits” ….. you were in the wrong service.

        Reply
  • 05/01/2023 at 4:03 pm
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    Wonder how far down the list we are to get HIMARS, & which RAA Regiment will they be issued to?

    Reply
    • 05/01/2023 at 4:40 pm
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      Agreed Fizzie.

      I’m betting no less than 3-5 years before we get ours.
      Even then, they’re just another old technology ‘made for profit’ U.S. job.

      Now those Russian Iskanders!!!! That is the real shit!

      Neutrality for Australia.

      YANKEE GO HOME !!!

      Peace.

      Reply

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