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    Australia to Buy US-Made HIMARS in Boost to Defense Systems

    Australia to Buy US-Made HIMARS in Boost to Defense Systems

    , Australia — Australia announced Thursday it will boost its defense capabilities by spending more than 1 billion Australian dollars ($700 million) on advanced missile and rocket systems, including U.S.-made which have been successfully used by Ukraine's .

    In Ukraine, the mobile, truck-mounted HIMARS have proved crucial in enabling Ukrainian forces to hit key targets, including a recent strike on a single building that killed at least 89 Russian soldiers.

    The Australian government said the HIMARS it was buying included launchers, missiles and training rockets and would be in use by 2026. It said the system had a current range of 300 kilometers (186 miles), which was expected to increase with technological advances.

    The government said it had also signed a contract with Norway-based Kongsberg to buy Naval Strike Missiles for navy destroyers and frigates, which would replace aging Harpoon anti-ship missiles from next year.

    Citing confidentiality for security and operational reasons, the Australian government, led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, did not give a cost breakdown of the two systems or say how many of each it was buying.

    But last year the U.S. State Department approved a potential foreign military sale, saying Australia had requested to buy 20 Lockheed Martin-made HIMARS and related equipment at an estimated cost of $385 million.

    “This proposed sale will support the foreign…

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