(Belga) Australia has purchased more than 120 tanks and other American armored vehicles, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday. The agreement covers an amount of 3.5 billion Australian dollars (2.21 billion euros).
Defense Minister Peter Dutton is due to confirm the purchase on Monday, but the Americans had already mentioned it at the end of last year. This acquisition of 75 combat tanks marks the desire of the Australian government to equip itself with an advanced fleet of armored vehicles. In recent years, however, Australian Defense had already focused on other major purchases, such as submarines, fighter jets and long-range missiles. The tanks must replace 2007 aircraft which have never been used in combat. According to the Australian media, the country has not used tanks since the war in Vietnam. The first vehicles should be delivered in 2024 to be fit for use the following year. Canberra plans to spend between $ 30 billion and $ 42 billion (between € 19 billion and € 26.5 billion) on armored vehicles over the next few years. These recent updates in the Australian ranks should be understood by defense experts as a reaction to the rise of China as a military power. In September, Australia entered into a strategic alliance with the United Kingdom and the United States in the Indo-Pacific region (AUKUS). Although China was not specifically named in the pact, AUKUS is seen as a way of forming a front in this area against China. The agreement provides for the purchase of nuclear submarines from the United States by Australia, which in order to do so canceled a previous contract sealed with France for conventionally powered submarines, creating diplomatic tensions between Paris and Canberra. . (Belga)