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
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.