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Australia to deploy new ground-based air defence system

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Raytheon Australia will develop its highly successful National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) for the Australian Defence Force, according to the Australian MoD. Test firing of a NASAM system in picture.

CANBERRA (BNS): The Australian Government has allocated A$2 billion (US$ 1.50 billion) for the development of a short range ground based air defence system to improve protection of its deployed troops.

The announcement was made by the country's Defence Minister Marise Payne on Monday.

The Government will invest up to A$2 billion in the system which will provide the inner most layer of Australia’s enhanced integrated air and missile capability. The capability will be operated by the Army's 16th Air Land Regiment, an official MoD statement said.

"A modern and integrated ground-based air defence system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region," the Defence Minister said.

"Australia's current short-range capability is 30 years old and due to be retired early next decade. The replacement system will provide improved protection for our deployed servicemen and women," she added.

The new system will be developed by Raytheon Australia in cooperation with other domestic defence industry partners, the Defence Ministry statement said.

Defence will complete a detailed analysis prior to returning to Government for final consideration in 2019, it said.

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