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Australia goes big on military upgrades

CANBERRA (CU)_ Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed on Wednesday (28 April) that his government will spend  A$747 million (US$580 million) in order to upgrade four military bases in the northern territory, and to expand military simulations with the United States.

“Our objective is a free and open Indo-Pacific, to ensure a peaceful region, one that, at the same time, Australia is in a position to always protect its interests,” he told reporters in Darwin.

Under the military upgrade, which will begin this year, an airstrip in Australia’s northern territory will be expanded in order to support larger aircrafts. The government also plans to set up new training facilities for Australian defence personnel and US marines, as part of the project. 

The military upgrades will be funded by the Canberra’s $270 billion defence plan which intends to improve the country’s long-range strike capabilities over the next decade. Announcing the plan last year, PM Morrison said that the initiative will be launched in response to the greatest level of economic and strategic uncertainty experienced in the Asia-Pacific region since World War II.

Although the Prime Minister avoided mentioning China…

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