to its strategic position in the South Pacific Ocean and historical ties,
Australia is a key ally of the United States.
defense policy has generally been opposed to the development of major ballistic
missile defense systems. The 2013
Defence White Paper
states that Australia does not advocate the
development of a national ballistic missile defense (NBMD) system, stating that
such a system would "potentially diminish the deterrent value of the
strategic nuclear forces of major nuclear powers." Australia itself does not possess nuclear weapons, but "relies on the nuclear on the nuclear forces of the United States to deter nuclear attack on Australia," according to the 2013 white paper.
to the white paper, Australia does support the U.S. deployment of BMD in
response to missile threats from North Korea and Iran, and "will continue
to participate in exercises and research programs with key partners" in
order to "remain fully informed of global developments in ballistic
Australia’s policy position against the development of a NBMD, it has
leaned towards greater cooperation with the United States on regional missile
defense in thePacific theater in recent years.
following the 2013 Australian-United States Ministerial
Consultation (AUSMIN), both countries announced they would work together to “identify
potential Australian contributions to ballistic missile defense in the
Asia-Pacific region.” The communiqué also stated that Australia would “consult”
with the United States as it “develops phased adaptive approaches” to missile
defense in the Pacific.
13, 2014 President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott discussed
plans to enhance cooperation on ballistic missile defense system. The meeting resulted
in a commitment from Australia to expand missile-defense plans to counter potential
threats from North Korea.1 The White House released a statement
explaining that the two countries are “working to explore opportunities to
expand cooperation on ballistic missile defense, including working together to
identify potential Australian contributions to ballistic missile defense in the
is in the process of building a new fleet of warships that could be used to counter
hostile missiles, as a part of a broader military buildup. Security analyst
James Brown of Australia’s Lowy Institute said "this might mean the
Australian Defence Force could end up mounting advanced missiles on its Aegis-equipped
air-warfare destroyers.”1 Following the discussion, Prime Minister
Abbott said that he agreed to arrangements for an expanded U.S. military presence
at whatever level was deemed "appropriate and necessary" by
Washington and its allies for safeguarding regional stability.1
of February 2014, Australia does not currently have an ability to intercept
ballistic missiles, according to the information provided by
. The Australian Navy, however, is currently
constructing a class of
which will likely be equipped with Aegis missile defense systems provided by
has developed and deployed the
Operational Radar Network
, an over-the-horizon radar (OTHR)
network that monitors air and sea movements within 37,000 km3
has a range of 3,000 km and can monitor maritime operations, wave heights and
Unlike conventional micro-wave radar, OTHR uses
radio reflection from the ionosphere.
In September 2011,
on the Jindalee, saying they were “impressed by its range and capability and
confirmed it could detect a missile launch far away in Asia” and said that it
could be a “highly effective part” of the missile defense shield being
developed by the United States.
Taylor Rob, “U.s. and
Australia to Cooperate On Asian Missile-Defense Plans,” The Wall Street
Journal, June 13, 2014, accessed June 13, 2014,
“Fact Sheet an Alliance for the
Future: The United States and Australia,” The White House Office of the Press
Secretary, June 12, 2014, accessed June 13, 2014, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/12/fact-sheet-united-states-and-australia-alliance-future.
“Jp 2025 - Jindalee Operational Radar Network
(Jorn),” Australian Government, Department of Defence, July 15, 2009, accessed
June 13, 2014, http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/esd/jp2025/jp2025.cfm.
Updated June 13 ,2014 by Antonio Hickman-Diaz