Australia, U.S. to develop hypersonic missiles – minister

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Australia and the U.S. will build and test hypersonic missiles that can travel five times faster than the speed of sound under a new agreement, an official said.

The Australian Minister of Defence, Linda Reynolds, said this on Tuesday in a statement.

The agreement was first discussed during meetings between Reynolds and its then U.S. counterpart Mark Esper in July and was signed in late November.

Under the new agreement, Australia will test the missiles with the aim of adding them to the arsenal of the Australian Defence Force within  five to 10 years, Reynolds said.

“Testing will focus on how the weapons perform in operational conditions, which would inform future purchases,” she said.

The Australian government has allocated 9.3 billion Australian dollars (7.7 billion dollars) for high-speed long-range missiles and missile defence this year, according to the 2020 Defence Strategic Update. 

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