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North Korea Missile Threat Pushes

The crew of the HMAS Perth arrive in Darwin, July 3, 2015.

 CANBERRA, Australia—Australia will equip a new fleet of naval warships with advanced air-defense technology, allowing them to work more closely with U.S. and Japanese counterparts to offset threats in the Asia-Pacific region, such as missiles fired by North Korea.

Nine anti-submarine frigates are set to be fitted with combat systems to aid their integration into a possible future missile shield, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday.

The technology will enable these ships “to engage threat missiles at long range, which is vital given rogue states are developing missiles with advanced range and speed,” Mr. Turnbull told a naval conference in Sydney. “We must have the capability to meet and defeat them,” he said.

 Australia has embarked on a 200 billion Australian dollar (US$156.52 billion) refit and expansion of its naval, land and air capabilities to hedge against a more assertive China and uncertainty over U.S. security policy in the region under President Donald Trump.

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