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Lockheed Martin Contract Advances Australian Missile Manufacturing

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Canberra has awarded Lockheed Martin Australia a $24.5 million contract to manufacture Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles.

Initial manufacturing, to start in 2025, will be in Australia, a key toward establishing large-scale domestic missile production, as it will transfer U.S. technology, process engineering certification and start technical skill-building for the local workforce, the Australian Minister of Defence’s office said in the contract’s announcement on Tuesday.

Funding for the effort will come from Australia’s $2.7 billion Defence Strategic Review allocation for more long-range munitions. 

The Lockheed Martin contract also provides for the government’s acquisition of Precision Strike Missiles, which has a range of up to 500 kilometers. Like the GMLRS, PrSMs can be fired from high-mobility artillery rocket system launchers.

Pat Conroy, acting minister for Defence, noted that work on the contract demonstrates the collaboration on  the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise set during Australia-U.S. ministerial consultations in July.

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