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Australia Greenlights Domestic GMLRS Missile Production for 2025

Australia has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to commence the local production of Canberra’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles next year.

The 37.4-million Australian dollar ($24.7 million) agreement will see the transfer of technical data from the US and the provision of engineering certifications and related competency programs for the Australian workforce.

Canberra also plans to acquire Precision Strike Missiles (PrSMs) to complement the future GMLRS stockpile. The weapons will be fired from the country’s new High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. Image: Senior Airman Beaux Hebert/US Air Force

“Signing this contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to begin the manufacturing of GMLRS in Australia from 2025 is another example of the Albanese Government delivering key outcomes of the Defence Strategic Review,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles stated.

“These are important milestones which will see Australia gain the technology we need to establish a sovereign industry, providing opportunities for a highly-skilled workforce.”

Bolstering National Security

Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy added that the GMLRS missile project and the upcoming PrSMs will further advance the armed forces’ capabilities “to precisely strike targets at longer range.”

According to Lockheed, the GMLRS has a range of over 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), while the PrSM reaches targets between 60 and 499 kilometers (37 to 310 miles).

“This important first step… will complement the acquisition of long-range precision strike capabilities and strengthen the [Australian Defence Force’s] ability to protect Australia and its interests,” Conroy stated.

A Launcher equiped with the new GMLRS prepares to fire near the Sinjar Mountains.
A Launcher equiped with the new GMLRS prepares to fire near the Sinjar Mountains. Photo: US Department of Defense

Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise

Canberra’s local GMLRS missile production will be budgeted from a 4.1-billion Australian dollar ($2.7 billion) investment announced under the Defence Strategic Review.

In 2023, the country revealed a new chief for an Australian Department of Defence team that will oversee indigenous productions of the GMLRS, other guided weapons, and explosive assets.

“This work is a clear demonstration of the ongoing collaboration between Australia and the United States on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise – a key outcome of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in July 2023,” Conroy said.

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