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Western Australia to host land-based long-range missile exercise

Western Australia will host a key US and Australian exercise that will develop how the ADF employs land-based precision long-range rocket artillery and maritime strike missiles.

Commencing in late July, Exercise HIGHBALL will be a combined initiative of Australia’s Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) and US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM).

The exercise is being conducted from Lancelin (north of Perth) and into the RAN’s Western Australia Exercise Area (WAXA). It will use a range of air, land, space and maritime capabilities to send targeting data to a US Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) platoon to test long-range fires concepts.

The ADF’s Chief of Joint Operations, LTGEN Greg Bilton, said the exercise demonstrates the ADF’s commitment to the Defence Strategic Review 2023 recommendation that the introduction into Australian service of a HIMARS and a land-based maritime strike capability be accelerated and expanded.

“The need to integrate land-based long-range fires into the ADF’s operational capability is urgent, and the close and dynamic relationship we enjoy with INDOPACOM means we can meet this priority,” he said.

“By using a US Army HIMARS strike package and US military shipping already in Australia for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023, we can advance our understanding of projecting and employing HIMARS and maritime strike missiles within a shorter timeframe.

“The exercise will also enhance US interoperability with the ADF’s targeting capabilities and the operational employment of land-based precision multi-domain fires.”

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