U.S. approves potential $975 million HIMARS sales to Australia

The Biden administration has revealed its intention to sell High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Australia in a deal valued at up to A$1.5 billion ($975 million). This move is part of the effort to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Australia and counter China’s expanding military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The proposed sale includes 22 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 60 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, and various other munitions. However, the sale still requires approval from the US Congress and finalization of contracts.

The State Department has stated that Australia intends to use this capability to enhance its homeland defense and safeguard critical infrastructure. They also mentioned that the sale would not significantly alter the military balance in the region.

The US and Australia have been working to enhance their military cooperation, especially in response to the growing influence of China’s military capabilities. In July, both countries announced plans to increase the US military presence in Australia, which includes more frequent visits by US submarines and collaboration on guided missile production.

This move aligns with President Joe Biden’s focus on strengthening relationships with allies and addressing security challenges posed by China. The upcoming visit of Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to the US in October is expected to further solidify these efforts.

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