Australia OKs defense projects

Aug. 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The Australian government has approved four major defense capability projects covering vehicle, missile, air defense and satellite platforms.

The projects are:

-- The acquisition of over 950 new four-wheel drive vehicles as well as trailers and associated equipment for training purposes;

-- The upgrade of the Navy's long-range Standard Missile-2 air defense missiles for future use by Air Warfare Destroyers;

-- Funding for a collaborative international study into the upgrade of the air defense Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile fitted to ANZAC Class frigates and Air Warfare Destroyers;

-- An enhanced military satellite capability, including transportable land satellite communications terminals and upgrades for satellite communications on Navy platforms.

These approvals are estimated to involve expenditure of around $550 million. When complete, the projects are estimated to involve expenditure of around $3.2 billion.

The announcement of the project approvals was made by Minister for Defense Stephen Smith and Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare.

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