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 developmentof 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.
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
, which could have the capabilities to contribute to a regional BMD
system. 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.
Updated February 12, 2014