US to assist Australia in missile manufacturing and export
The US launches a new initiative to assist in the manufacture and export of missiles by Australia during talks with Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles.
Following meetings between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin in Brisbane, the Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles confirmed on Saturday that Washington would want to increase its declining weapons stockpile by assisting Australia in manufacturing and exporting missiles.
Marles said, "We hope to see manufacturing of missiles commenced in Australia in two years' time," adding that "We are really pleased with the steps that we are taking in respect of establishing a guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise in this country."
With an eye toward assuring a steady supply for its own armed forces in the future, Washington will now endeavor to assist Australia as it establishes a budding domestic missile industry nearly from scratch. The US will play a significant role in assisting Australia in developing guided multiple-launch rocket systems (GMLRS) as part of the initiative.
According to the US Defense Secretary, the initiative would allow the US to "sharpen our technological edge and strengthen our defense industrial base."
US deploys first-ever warship in foreign city part of anti-China AUKUS
Earlier, on July 22, the US deployed a naval vessel in Australia, marking its first warship to join active service at a foreign port, as security cooperation between the AUKUS allies grows with eyes set on China.
The AUKUS pact, which includes Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, is a military bloc with the declared mission of employing collective capabilities to hinder China's growing power in the South China Sea and East Asia region.
After revealing the security bloc, the US announced it will be supplying Australia with nuclear-powered submarines powered with American and British technology, making the Asian-Pacific country the sixth nation to acquire this type of naval vessel.
A commissioning ceremony was held at Garden Island in the presence of US and Australian Navy chiefs.
The USS Canberra is a littoral combat ship with a crew of 50 personnel. It can reach speeds up to 40 knots while maintaining high maneuvering capabilities, as per the United States. The ship is a successor to another combat ship, also dubbed USS Canberra, that was launched during WW2 in 1943 by then-US President Franklin D Roosevelt.
China has constantly warned that AUKUS risked setting off an arms race and held the three countries responsible for setting back nuclear nonproliferation efforts, also accusing the United States of leading a Western effort at "all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China."