The Australian Defense Ministry has sealed a 37.4 million Australian dollar ($24.7 million) contract with US arms giant Lockheed Martin’s Australian subsidiary to manufacture Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles starting in 2025, the country’s government said on Tuesday.
“The Albanese Government will ensure Australia starts manufacturing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles from 2025, following the signing of a $37.4 million contract between Defence and Lockheed Martin Australia,” the government said in a statement.
The missile systems are planned to be produced in Australia, which also entails facilitating the “transfer of technical data from the United States,” processes for engineering certification and developing technical skills of Australian workers.
The government also plans to acquire US-made precision strike missiles (PrSM) capable of engaging targets at a distance up to 500 kilometers (311 miles) and GMLRS that can be fired from High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) launchers, the statement added.
Earlier, the US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a more than $271 million extension on a previous $646 million contract to develop and integrate new software and hardware for the AEGIS destroyer and cruiser-carried anti missile and air defense system.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will develop, test and integrate equipment, material, software and hardware end items in support of the Aegis System Equipped Vessel program.