Australia will equip its future high-tech warships with the ability to shoot down anti-ship missiles as concerns over North Korea and other regional threats rise.
The Prime Minister has announced Lockheed Martin’s state-of-the-art Aegis combat management system will be installed on the Navy’s nine future frigates.
Malcolm Turnbull also announced SAAB Australia would build a new tactical interface for the frigates allowing the Aegis to work in with the computerised radar developed by Canberra company CEA Technologies.
The $35 billion ships will be primarily designed to fight off threats from underwater — like submarines — but also to engage in air and missile defence.
“This announcement equips our future Navy ships with the best technology in the world,” Mr Turnbull said.
“It will sustain jobs and boost the economy, while giving the Navy the technology to tackle a range of threats.
“Recent events in our region have proven that Australia’s Future Frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium and long-range missile attacks.
“This technology will enable the Future Frigates to engage missiles at long range.”
Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement while opening Australia’s largest ever naval conference at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
“As Prime Minister, I am determined to keep Australians safe,” he said.
“Giving our Navy the best combat management technology will ensure that we can meet and overcome any threat that comes our way — in the air and at sea.”
Last week a former senior Pentagon official warned Australia had to prepare for a possible attack by North Korea.
Dr Brad Roberts told the ABC Australia did not need to replicate the expensive US land-based missile defence system, but should enhance future warships with anti-missile technology.