Feeds

Australia gets tooled up with cruise

Long-range stealth capability spooks Indonesia

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Australia has caused a certain amount of unease in Indonesia by announcing its intention to acquire long-range stealth cruise missiles, The Australian reports. The missiles are intended to plug the gap between the retirement of Australia's F-111 fleet in 2010 and the arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) - slated for deployment around three years later.

The Howard government will choose from three options: the Lockheed Martin joint air-to-surface standoff missile (JASSM), a "2000-pound, precision strike cruise missile that has a range of 400km and flies autonomously to its target after launch"; Boeing's 250km-range SLAM-ER; and the Swedish/German Taurus KEPD 350, able to penetrate 350km. Whichever is eventually selected, the missiles will be slung under the RAAF's F/A-18 fighters and its P3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft.

The Indonesian's reaction to the announcement is understandable. Jakarta tooks years to forgive Australia after the Menzies government "ordered the F-111 in 1963, with the specific instruction that it be capable of reaching Jakarta carrying nuclear weapons". In 1993, the Australians ordered a further 15 of the aircraft without informing Indonesia - an event which caused further rumpus.

For their part, the Australians may consider they have good cause to strengthen their strike capability. Indonesia's bloody invasion of East Timor in 1975 - during which five Australian journalists were killed, apparently by Indonesian forces - threatened briefly to provoke robust Australian retaliation, and soured relations between the two countries for years. Indeed, a report published yesterday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute concludes that Australians "rate Indonesia as their greatest military threat", and notes: “Notwithstanding improved bilateral relations particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, the public’s concern about Indonesia has increased almost consistently since opinion polls first began to track it in the late 1960s.” The report does, however, conclude that: "This worry does not seem to be justifed, either by Jakartas intent, or by the level of Indonesian military capability." ®

Related stories

US throws $1bn at unmanned attack aircraft
Eurofighter at risk of 'catastrophic failure'
Patriot missile: friend or foe?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.