Due to its strategic positioning and its proximity to the pacific theatre, Australia has long been a key ally to the U.S and the partnership is seen to contribute to the regional stability of the Pacific.
There has long been a resistance to missile defense in Australia. ‘Star-wars’ like intercontinental defense systems go against the ideology of the Labor Party, as shown by several recent white papers released against an increase in missile defense. Australia is a part of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance with the US.
Recently the rhetoric, both nationally and internationally, on missile defense in Australia has shifted. The Labor Party now has the platform that theatre and locale missile defense systems are okay and a good instrument of protection to have.
In the September 2011 AUSMIN meeting in San Francisco, Australia reaffirmed their commitment to missile defense and the security of the Pacific region and called upon the U.S. for continued cooperation with regard to missile defense systems in Australia.
Also in September, U.S. scientists commented on the impressiveness and potential of the Australian-invented Jindalee Radar system to detect missiles launched from Asia.
Australia's first Aegis ballistic missile defense system was tested in August 2009.
Similar to some of our Allies in Europe, Australia has a class of
combatants – the Air Warfare Destroyer – that uses the Aegis Combat System that
could be upgraded in the future to provide a missile defense capability.
Australia is also considering buying the SM-3 missiles for its air
warfare destroyers, a technology that Japan is already using on their
Australia is looking towards Japan to upgrade their submarines and build
up ballistic missile defense.