Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Home INDIA India Australia seeks long-range missiles in Indo-Pacific defence shift

India Australia seeks long-range missiles in Indo-Pacific defence shift


india An Australian navy ship docking at a port in Jakarta, Indonesia in May 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Australia’s naval operations will be focused more on its region

Australia says it will significantly increase military spending and focus on the Indo-Pacific region amid rising tensions between the US and China.

PM Scott Morrison pledged A$270bn (£150bn; $186bn) to Australia’s arms budget over 10 years – a 40% boost.

He said Australia would acquire long-range missiles and other capabilities to “deter” future conflicts.

It was necessary because the region was the “focus of the dominant global contest of our age”, he added.

Mr Morrison named several areas of tension including the border between India and China, and conflict over the South China Sea and East China Sea.

It follows deteriorating relations between Australia and China – which are widely seen to be at their worst in decades.

India What is Australia spending money on?

The new defence capability budget – about 2% of GDP – replaces a previous decade-long strategy, set only in 2016, which had set aside A$195bn.

Mr Morrison said much spending would go to upgrading arms and equipment.

Australia will purchase from the US Navy up to 200 long-range anti-ship missiles, which can travel up to 370km (229 miles). It will also invest in developing a hypersonic weapons system – missiles which can travel thousands of kilometres.

Up to A$15b would be spent on cyber warfare tools – which the prime minister noted “says a lot about where the threats are coming from”.

Last month, he warned that Australian institutions and businesses were being targeted by cyber attacks from a “sophisticated state actor”. The remarks were broadly interpreted as aimed at China.

India Why does Morrison say this is necessary?

He said tensions between the US and China had accelerated in recent years and their relations now were “fractious at best”.

The pandemic had worsened these tensions and put the global security order at its most unstable point in decades. The region was also seeing “military modernisation” at an unprecedented rate, he said.

“The largely benign security environment… that Australia has enjoyed, basically from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the global financial crisis, that’s gone,” he said.

“The risk of miscalculation – and even conflict- is heightening.”

He said Australia would vigorously defend its democratic values and those of others in the region, adding that increasing military capabilities would help “to prevent war”.

Under the 2016 strategy, military priorities had been split equally across that region but also on operations with Western allies, such as US-led missions in the Middle East.

India What’s been the reaction?

The Labor opposition has welcomed the change in strategy, saying it had long called for greater military focus on the region.

Analysts say the change shows Australia is trying to be strong in its own region and on its own resources.

“There’s a great emphasis, implicitly, in Mr Morrison’s speech, in recognising the rise of China and also that America may not be as big a help as it has been in previous years,” said Sam Roggeveen from the Lowy Institute.

Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

US and Australian navy personnel mark a joint military exercise in the Pacific Ocean in 2017

Many have also interpreted the shift as Australia taking a more defined opposition to China’s increasing influence in the region.

Relations with its biggest trading partner have further deteriorated in recent months, following Australia’s push for a global probe into the origins of the Covid-19 virus.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

India Coronavirus: 10 die ingesting sanitiser after Indian state shuts liquor retailers

Image copyright EPA Image caption The hand sanitiser, not pictured, has been sent for additional testing At least 10 people have died after drinking alcohol-based sanitiser after liquor shops were closed in a village in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.The village of Kurichedu has been placed in lockdown after a local surge in cases…

India The Newest: India instances move 800,000 with report each day leap

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada lawmakers have pumped the brakes on their emergency special session because someone in the legislative building has tested positive for the coronavirus. Gov. Steve Sisolak has convened the session so lawmakers can balance the state budget amid a projected $1.2 billion shortfall stemming from the economic damage of the pandemic.…

India The Newest: India reimposes lockdown as instances close to 1 million

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco and Sacramento have become the latest cities in California to announce that public school students will not return to classrooms when the new term begins because of surges in coronavirus cases and delays in getting test results back. They join Los Angeles and San Diego, the state’s two largest districts.…

India India poisonous alcohol: Dozens die in Punjab poisoning

Image copyright EPA Image caption The number of dead has risen steadily over the last few days At least 86 people have died in recent days as a result of drinking illegally-made alcohol, officials in the northern Indian state of Punjab say. On Saturday, police carried out more than 100 raids, confiscating supplies of the…

Recent Comments