Australia to build hypersonic missiles with US, Britain

Australia will join the US and UK in developing hypersonic missiles in a major boost to national security.
The three countries announced today they will work together via the recently created AUKUS security alliance to build the advanced weapons, which are capable of travelling five times the speed of sound, or 6000 kilometres per hour.

The move comes amid growing concern from the US and Australia about China’s military assertiveness in the Pacific.

The US military tested a hypersonic glide body in March 2020, from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. (US Navy) (Supplied)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the plan early today after holding an update on the progress of AUKUS.

The Indo-Pacific alliance that was launched by the three countries in September.

The leaders said in a joint statement they are “committed today to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics, counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen cooperation on defence innovation”.

The US, Russia and China have all looked to further develop hypersonic missiles — a system so fast that it cannot be intercepted by any current missile defence system.

Russia has used hypersonic missiles “multiple” times in Ukraine, according to the top US commander in Europe.

A Russian MiG-31 fighter jet releases the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a test at an undisclosed location in Russia (Photo: March 2018).
President Vladimir Putin has deployed hypersonic weapons in Ukraine, such as the Kinzhal missile shown here, US intelligence said. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)

Late last year, as US intelligence officials had become increasingly concerned about the massing of Russian forces on the Ukraine border, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the country’s arms manufacturers to develop even more advanced hypersonic missiles to maintain the country’s edge in military technologies.

Mr Morrison, Mr Biden and Mr Johnson have described the creation of AUKUS as a chance to build greater sharing of defence capabilities.

As their first major action, the alliance said it would help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.

Maria Pavlovych weeps as she remembers her 25-year-old soldier son, Roman Pavlovych, who was killed near the besieged city of Mariupol, in his bedroom, in Hordynia village, western Ukraine, Friday, March 25, 2022. The Pavlovych family knows a second front line in Russia's war runs through the farmland here in western Ukraine, far from the daily resistance against the invasion. It is an uphill battle for farmers to feed not only their country but the world.

Mother’s tears amid ongoing onslaught on Ukraine

– Reported with Associated Press

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