16 January 2024
Defence has signed a $37.4 million contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to start manufacturing guided multiple launch rocket system (GMLRS) missiles from 2025.
Under the contract, an initial batch of GMLRS missiles will be manufactured in Australia, an important first step towards establishing domestic missile manufacturing on a larger scale.
It will also facilitate the transfer of technical data from the United States, establish processes for engineering certification and begin to build the technical skills of an Australian workforce.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said this contract was an example of the Government delivering key outcomes of the Defence Strategic Review.
“These are important milestones that will see Australia gain the technology we need to establish a sovereign industry, providing opportunities for a highly skilled workforce,” he said.
The Government will also acquire precision strike missiles (PrSM), which can engage targets out to 500km. PrSM and GMLRS missiles can be fired from HIMARS (high mobility artillery rocket system) launchers.
Acting Defence Minister and Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said this step would strengthen the ADF’s ability to protect Australia and its interests.
“This announcement delivers on the Albanese Government’s commitment to reprioritise Defence capabilities in line with the Defence Strategic Review, including developing the ADF’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer range,” he said.
These activities are part of the $4.1 billion investment that will enable Defence to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions in Australia.
“This work is a clear demonstration of the ongoing collaboration between Australia and the United States on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, a key outcome of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in July 2023,” Mr Conroy said.