Australia to buy 12 radar-evading Boeing EA-18G Growler jets
Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the Growlers, which are configured for electronic warfare, as a transition phase to the next-generation warplane, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Australia’s new Defense White Paper also plans the acquisition of 12 submarines. The blueprint reflects the growing weight of the Indo-Pacific. While stressing the importance of Australia’s ties with the US as its main military partner, the paper notes that Canberra seeks to encourage China’s peaceful rise and India’s emergence “as an important strategic, diplomatic and economic actor.” The Indian Ocean is becoming one of the world’s most strategically significant areas, with Southeast Asia as its centre.