Photo: Raytheon website
Photo: Raytheon website
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Australia taps Raytheon for missile system

The move to buy the US surface-to-air missile system comes as China’s military might grows in the region and amid tension following the deployment of the THAAD missile system in South Korea

April 12, 2017 12:47 AM (UTC+8)

China was the elephant in the room on Monday when Australia’s government announced that it has tapped US defense contractor Raytheon to provide a US$1.5 billion surface-to-air missile system.

“A modern and integrated ground-based air defense system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region,” Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement. Raytheon was the sole bidder for the contract.

Australia plans to boost defense spending by US$21.6 billion over the next 10 years at a time when Chinese economic and military might is expanding throughout the region. Analysts say US defense contractors will benefit from such spending.