The US State Department has approved the sale of 22 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Australia.
The sale requires the approval of Congress to go through.
The estimated $1 billion potential purchase is in addition to the 20 HIMARS Canberra bought earlier this year, taking the total potential number to 42.
The purchase includes support systems and associated munitions such as 60 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems that can strike 70 kilometers (43 miles) away.
The purchase could also include the upcoming HIMARS munition Precision Strike Missile with an expected range of over 500 kilometers (311 miles).
Ramping Up Long-Range Strike Capability
To accelerate its long-range strike capability, Australia also plans to produce HIMARS-compatible missiles in Australia from 2025.
The military overhaul also includes the recent purchase of 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US for $830 million.
“Australia is investing in enhanced long-range capabilities across all domains, which will deliver a persistent, long-range, all-weather, rapid response capability that is operationally deployable and tactically mobile,” Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said.
“As well as acquiring HIMARS from the US, the Government is taking important steps towards domestic missile manufacturing, aiming to both build up Australia’s defence industry, protect our supply chains and contribute to easing global demand.”