Australia to Buy $385 Million Mobile Rocket Launchers from the U.S.

The U.S. State Department approved the sale of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Australia, as the nation has been looking to strengthen its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

A total of $3.1 billion worth of weapons sales was approved by the United States. The Pentagon said the deals include sales of helicopters to Egypt and missiles to the Netherlands as well as the rocket systems to Australia.

Australia has been increasing its defense spending over the past few years as China looks assert influence in the Indo-Pacific. Last year, Australia made a deal with the U.S. and Britain to buy nuclear submarines.

The total cost of Australia’s purchase of HIMARS launchers and related equipment will be $385 million.

Australia requested to buy 20 HIMARS and other equipment, the Pentagon said. The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin, L3Harris Corp and Chelton Inc.

Approval by the State Department at this point means the sales will go through.

The U.S. also approved the sale of CH-47F Chinook helicopters and related equipment to Egypt for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.

Egypt requested to buy 23 CH-47F Chinook helicopters, the Pentagon said. The principal contractor will be Boeing.

The Netherlands increased a previous order for AIM-9X Block II Tactical Missiles and AIM-9X Block II+ Tactical Missiles. The missiles under the $117 million deal will be made by Raytheon.

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