Australian Navy to Fit Future Frigates with Aegis BMD System

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Tuesday that nine of Australia’s new planned frigates, scheduled to enter construction in 2020, will be fitted with the Aegis combat system, which will allow them to perform both air and missile defense missions. In announcing the decision, Turnbull emphasized that “Recent events in our region have proven that Australia’s future frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium- and long-range missile attacks.” The decision to purchase Aegis will allow Australian ships to operate with the United States, Japan, and South Korea, who already deploy Aegis ships. Australia has not commented on what types of interceptors it will purchase for the Aegis-equipped ships.