Australia’s future Navy frigates will reportedly be designed to shoot down missiles in recognition of the growing threat posed by North Korea, local media reports.
According to media reports, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will announce on Tuesday about the country’s plan to equip the nine "future frigates" with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Combat Management System, together with a Saab Australia’s tactical interface. The government to likely start building the frigates by 2020.
"Recent events in our region have proven that Australia's future frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium and long-range missile attacks," Turnbull said. “This technology will enable the Future Frigates to engage missiles at long range”.
According to the government, these Future Frigates would have the best capability to defeat threats above and below the surface, while also ensuring we maintain sovereign control of key technologies, such as the Australian-designed and built CEA phased array radar.
Andrew Davies, a defence expert with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute was quoted as saying by Brisbane Times that the latest Aegis system would allow the future frigates to operate with US and Japanese partners as a kind of defence network to provide some protection to specific targets in the region.
The combat system is estimated to make up about $3 billion of the total $35 billion cost of the frigate program.
Other future Australian warships will use the SAAB system which Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said would bring about $1 billion worth of work to local industry.