The federal government has committed $180 million over the next 5 years to add a new level of anti-ship missile defence capabilities on Royal Australian Navy ships.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia signed a contract to build Multi-Ammunition Soft-Kill System (MASS, pictured), to equip Anzac Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers with anti-ship missile protection.
According to a statement, the system provides an electromagnetic decoy to protect the naval ships from sensor-guided missiles.
The surface vessels are already protected by a layered anti-missile system which includes the Australian made Nulka active hovering rocket decoy and Phalanx on close-in weapons systems (CIWS).
The five-year contract will focus on building the capability at a facility in Brisbane, creating up to 45 new local jobs through supply and support chains. This is in addition to over 600 local jobs currently being supported at the facility.
Launching the project Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy said: “It is great to visit the Brisbane facility where this exciting new system will be developed with support from a number of local companies, creating Queensland jobs.
“This investment will not only keep our sailors safe, but also lead to a smarter, stealthier navy, able to protect Australia’s interests in our current strategic environment.’
Conroy said the government was investing in sovereign capabilities and working with local industry to ensure our Defence personnel have the capability they need to keep Australians safe.
The decision comes as a response to the Defence Strategic Review.
Australia has lost the ten-year warning period for any conflict, with the Review recommending urgent action to build Australia’s military preparedness, including in the maritime domain.
The government has reacted to the review by cutting some army contracts, ordering more, longer range weapons systems and announcing a shakeup of defence innovation.
Picture: Rheinmetall/Multi-Ammunition Soft-Kill System