Australia is about to get its hands dirty with the US, agreeing to work more closely to develop technology for a missile defence shield in the Asia-Pacific.
The information was revealed in the a communiqué from the US State department about the recent AUSMIN meeting. Every so often, there's this big, important meeting that goes on between the United States and Australia called the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations, or AUSMIN. Usually it works to reaffirm commitments between our two great nations, but this year it has been revealed that we'll be working on missile defence shield technology.
It doesn't seem to be entirely locked in just yet, but that all comes down to how you read the AUSMIN communiqué. Here's what the two parties had to say on the project:
Ballistic Missile Defense
The United States and Australia agreed to examine opportunities to expand their cooperation on ballistic missile defense, including working together to identify potential Australian contributions to ballistic missile defense in the Asia-Pacific region.
They agreed to continue cooperative research on technologies to counter ballistic missile threats, and continue their consultation regarding options that increase capability development in this area.
The two countries will continue to consult as the United States develops its phased adaptive approaches to regional ballistic missile defense, which will allow missile defense to be adapted to the threats unique to the Asia-Pacific region.
Basically that means that our role in the ongoing development of missile defence shields will be closely looked at to see if Australia has anything to offer. Whether or not we'll be able to contribute is another matter.
Previous analyses of Australia's potential contributions from pundits have found that RADAR technology on the RAAF's Wedgetail planes and the gear on Naval air warfare destroyers could prove useful to the project.
What we'll actually contribute — if anything — remains to be seen.
The most recent AUSMIN meeting also saw Australia agree to an expanded space surveillance program to track debris and near-Earth objects. Check out the full details in the communiqué. [US State Department]