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Australia to Boost Long-Range Strike Capabilities Amid China’s Military Buildup

Australia to Boost Long-Range Strike Capabilities Amid China’s Military Buildup

 UK’s Financial Times: “Australia has unveiled the biggest strategic shift in its military posture since the second world war to adapt to China’s military build-up in the region.”

Australia has announced the biggest defense overhaul in its modern history amid a growing military threat from Communist China, the country’s media reported Monday.

“Australia has unveiled the biggest strategic shift in its military posture since the second world war to adapt to China’s military build-up in the region,” the British newspaper Financial Times noted. “The defence pivot is anticipated to cost A$19bn (US$12.7bn) over the next four years,” the daily confirmed.

The biggest component of this defense modernization plan will be to boost Australia’s long-range strike capabilities to counter Chinese military buildup in the Indo-Pacific.

China is extending its military reach by building artificial islands in the South China Sea equipped with airstrips, military bases, and naval bases. China’s People’s Liberation Army has demonstrated its hostile intentions toward the regional powers by landing nuclear strike-capable bombers on these islands.

The Associated Press reported the Australian military overhaul:

Australia needs to spend more money on defense, make its own munitions and develop the ability to strike longer-range targets as China’s military buildup challenges regional security, according to a government-commissioned report released Monday.

The Defense Strategic Review supports the so-called AUKUS partnership among Australia, the United States and Britain, which in March announced an agreement to create an Australian fleet of eight submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his government commissioned the review to assess whether Australia has the necessary defense capability, posture and preparedness to defend itself in the current strategic environment. (…)

The public version of the classified review recommended that Australia’s government spend more on defense than the current expenditure of 2% of gross domestic product, improve the Australian Defense Force’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer ranges and make munitions domestically.

Other recommendations include improving the force’s ability to operate from Australia’s northern bases and to deepen defense partnerships with key countries in the Indo-Pacific region including India and Japan. China’s military buildup “is now the largest and most ambitious of any country” since the end of World War II, the review said.

It “is occurring without transparency or reassurance to the Indo-Pacific region of China’s strategic intent,” it said.

Australia seeks to enhance its long-range missile strike capabilities to neutralize the threat posed by Beijing’s aggressive forward deployment. The Australian “army will undergo major changes and be re-equipped to operate missile technology, which is expected to increase in range out to several hundreds of kilometres,” the Australian public broadcaster ABC reported Monday.

“Defence’s focus will shift to Australia’s north and the seas, as army becomes more focused on land-to-maritime capability, including through long-range strike power, while planned projects for infantry vehicles are significantly reduced,” the broadcaster added.

The revamp also includes modernizing Australia’s aging nuclear submarine fleet, news reports confirm.

With Monday’s announcement, Australia joins Japan and India in their efforts to modernize their militaries and upgrade defense strategies in the face of growing Chinese aggression.

Australia is cooperating with these countries under the ‘quad’ framework, as a U.S.-led alliance revived by President Donald Trump to create a bulwark of regional powers to counter China. Last month, Australia and India unveiled a road map towards a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ in the Ind-Pacific.


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Ummmm, when you state “long range strike capabilities” are the goal, you then show… a long-range airlift platform? And, apart from nuke subs and “long-range missiles” there’s nothing really here about what other sorts of “long range strike” we’re talking about. If it’s all missiles and missile subs, then a picture of an aircraft makes even less sense – especially a cargo craft.

Just grabbing any old picture of something military is how all those big media productions get roundly mocked. I expect better here.

    mailman in reply to GWB. | April 25, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Let’s not forget the crime decommissioned their only long range strike aircraft (F111) and replaced that long range strike capability with the F18 😂

    But that’s the conundrum that is the crims. On the one hand they are a reliable friend and on the other their Ambassador participated in the Democrat coup to oust Trump, and he participated all too willingly.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to GWB. | April 25, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    US has developed / is developing packaging to deploy munitions from cargo aircraft. Particularly long-range cruise missiles.

    Coincident with the US n Austrailia crafting a nuclear sub deal off off French non-delivery, they also agreed to deployment of ground- and air-launch long-range cruise missiles effective against small and mobile targets, particularly ships.

      That is true (but I bet not part of the calculation of the person choosing the pic). It is a capability in search of a purpose.

        BierceAmbrose in reply to GWB. | April 26, 2023 at 3:33 pm

        “Deterrence” is always a sketchy purpose. So many dependencies to make it go. So many inferences on what will influence people.

        Recalling from the time of the missile arrangement, “freedom of navigation” and “deterrence” were identified as purposes for Australian long-reach, precision anti-ship capability.

        The argument went something like… With CCP-China playng bumper-ships with others’ navigation they’d like less of, some strike-back capability might be interesting. We’re all wee-wee’d up about their silt-islands as ops platforms across sea lanes or blocking port access. Well, Austrailia is a big island to try to sink, to stop them launching from there.

      CaptTee in reply to BierceAmbrose. | April 26, 2023 at 10:40 pm

      I’d buy that argument if the article mentioned rolling cruise missiles out the back of C-17s, but I doubt the editor would recognize a C-17 if you put a picture of one in his/her face.

E Howard Hunt | April 25, 2023 at 1:40 pm

We need to settle the China question while we still enjoy a large first strike advantage.

    Sisan Rice, Mcconnell and Biden settled it: we have depleted our non-nuke weaponry on Ukraine..

    As for Austraila: they’d better nuke-up, or give up.

    Evil Otto in reply to E Howard Hunt. | April 26, 2023 at 5:34 am

    “Settle the China question?” Do you mean go to war with them? Don’t use euphemisms if you’re calling for us to first-strike nuclear weapons. If you think we should kill millions of Chinese in a surprise attack, say it.

    Or did you mean some other sort of “first strike advantage?”

Long range strike capabilities?

That’s good if you’re going to attack China.

Better hope China doesn’t invade. Your populace is unarmed.

    paracelsus in reply to Peabody. | April 25, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    “Better hope China doesn’t invade. Your populace is unarmed.”
    what schmuck (sorry, I can find no more expressive word in my lexicon) would ever cut the legs off her children and then ask them to run a race

    mailman in reply to Peabody. | April 25, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    It’s not just China but carrying out missions all over the Pacific! Which is a big arse bit of water!

      RenoGuy1 in reply to mailman. | April 26, 2023 at 1:43 pm

      China is getting very friendly with the Solomon Islands. Remember Guadalcanal in WW2 threat to Australia

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Peabody. | April 25, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    When ad hoc, shore based Ukrainian cruise missiles can hit the Russian flagship in the Black Sea, CCP-China should include getting shot up en route in their calcullations.

    Interestingly, everything Eastward they might want to target has them going over water on the way. Hong Kong was a special case, several different ways.

    Evil Otto in reply to Peabody. | April 26, 2023 at 5:36 am

    How would China invade? It’s 2000 miles from China to Australia. They’re only close in relative terms.

Australia has no nuclear submarines. It operates the Diesel-Electric Collins class subs. Australia designed and built, it has proven itself capable at RimPac exercises, but they are aged and were scheduled to leave service in 2026. The USA’s shipyards are so slow and sparse, that it is unlikely to be able to assist ….ever. Clinton-Bush-Obama have destroyed American industrial capacity and we have zero industrial flexibility.

George_Kaplan | April 25, 2023 at 11:37 pm

Sadly defence is a controversial subject in Australia with the Far Left more concerned about America than their peace loving buddy Beijing.

China doesn’t need to invade Australia. Or the US. Under Fabian Socialists both countries are already halfway (maybe more than halfway) to being communist nations not unlike China. Just saying …

    puhiawa in reply to BeAChooser. | April 26, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    Communist nations are perfectly capable of going to war against other communists. China and Russia have had skirmishes twice, China and Vietnam once, Vietnam Cambodia once. In all three instances, China was trying to steal territory from another country.