A sign marks the Raytheon offices in Woburn, Massachusetts, U.S. January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder – RTSXCIB
SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian government on Monday selected U.S.-based defense contractor Raytheon Co as the sole bidder for a ground-based air defense system contract worth up to A$2 billion ($1.50 billion).
The surface-to-air missile system will replace the country’s 30-year-old short-range capability, which is due to be retired by early next decade, Defence Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.
“A modern and integrated ground-based air defense system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region,” Payne said.
Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, last year committed to increase defense spending by nearly A$30 billion over the next 10 years at a time when China’s economic and military power is growing throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia has been streamlining its military tendering process…
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