Royal Australian Navy's Hobart Class Destroyer (File photo)
By Wang Bing
Australian Department of Defence declared recently that it would spend AU$1.3 billion (about US$833 million) to purchase more than 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles, in order to enhance the long-range strike capabilities of its Navy.
Long premeditated US-Australia deal
It is reported that the Tomahawk cruise missiles bought by Australia will be deployed on the Royal Australian Navy's active Hobart class destroyers, as well as the Virginia class nuclear submarines to be delivered to Australia by the US in the future.
Liang Yongchun, a military observer noted that it is a long premeditated arms sale deal, which makes Australia bear the costs for the US. "Australia's latest Hobart class destroyer was designed under the guidance of the US, with 48 vertical launch units designed, leaving space for Tomahawk cruise missiles."
Liang said the Tomahawk weapon system is fully under the control of the US – it needs the key provided by the US to launch, its flight depends on the navigation provided by GPS, and its command system and control software are completely in the hands of the US. After equipping with Tomahawk, the Australian military will not get stronger but further lose its independence instead, resulting in fighting for the US interests under its command and control.
Elaborate scheming by the US hidden behind the deal
The US has been very cautious about the export of Tomahawk missiles. For this arms sale, Australia stated that following the US and UK, it would become the third country equipped with Tomahawk. It is important to note that, as an ally of the US, Japan once planned to buy about 400 Tomahawk missiles from the US.
Seeing the trend of integration in weapons and equipment of Australia, Japan and the US, Liang believes there is elaborate scheming by the US hidden behind it. The US urges its allies to buy weapons of the same series and types with it repeatedly, intending to achieve interoperability among main battle equipment.
Japan and Australia, which are politically under the control of the US, can afford to buy US weapons. The US attempted to build Japan into a military pivot on the first island chain, and Australia on the second island chain, so as to retract its main force back to Guan and Hawaii, requiring Japan and Australia to serve as "proxies", containing and deterring China on the first line for the US.
Negative effects of US-Australia military cooperation will continue to propagate
The US and Australia have been strengthening the military alliance recently. Shortly after the Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 led by the US and Australia, started the multilateral naval exercise Malabar 2023 by the US, Japan, India and Australia. Moreover, the US has offered several military-industrial cooperation proposals to Australia to enhance the bilateral defense relations between them.
As to the case that Australia invested heavily to purchase US Tomahawk missiles, Liang said that it is just a small step of the military cooperation between the two countries, and Australia, as the deepening of the cooperation, will become a critical foothold for the US to consolidate command of the sea in the Indo-Pacific region. The negative effects of US-Australia military cooperation will continue to emerge in the future.
He said that the US is vigorously investing in constructions along the northcoast of Australia, to build large naval and air bases. The US Navy will soon reactivate its First Fleet, which will primarily station in Australia to monitor key strategic points of Malacca Strait, South China Sea and South Pacific. Additionally, the US will put up large nuclear submarine bases along the east and west coasts of Australia, to reinforce control of the two oceans.
For arms sales, apart from long-range cruise missiles, the US has sold new land attack missiles and anti-radiation missiles used to strike radar, and production lines of certain missiles are to be moved to Australia within two years.
After completion of the set of arrangements, Australia will turn into a military camp for the US, and its military forces a hatchet man for the US forces in the Indo-Pacific region, dragging Australia into immense danger both politically and militarily.
Editor's note: Originally published on military.cnr.cn, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.