Australia to buy Lockheed missiles for fighter jets
Australia has announced that it will buy long-range missiles from Lockheed Martin Corp. for its strike aircraft, but dropped plans to arm maritime planes with these.india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 15:11 IST
Australia has announced that it will buy long-range missiles from Lockheed Martin Corp. for its strike aircraft, but dropped plans to arm its maritime surveillance planes with the missiles.
Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said the contract, worth between A$350 million to A$450 million, is part of a A$28.8 billion plan to upgrade the country's defence capability by 2010.
He said the government would buy an undisclosed number of the Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missiles, a stealth missile which can hit targets 400 km away, for its fleet of 71 F/A-18 Hornets.
Lockheed Martin won the contract beating out Europe's Taurus Systems GmbH, which makes the KEPD 350 missile, and Boeing Co.'s SLAM-ER missile.
Nelson said the extra reach of the new missiles, due to enter service by December 2009, did not represent any change to Australia's strategic defence outlook.