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Monday, 10 September 1984
Page: 698


Senator GARETH EVANS —Last Friday, Senator McIntosh asked the Government to give an assurance that it is not considering supplying the Royal Australian Navy with a Tomahawk cruise missile, as reportedly advocated by the Chief of the Naval Staff. In reply, the Minister for Defence has advised me that Australia's maritime strategic strike capability is considered to be appropriate and adequate for our present needs, as evidenced by, firstly the existence of our F111C aircraft when fitted with the Harpoon missiles; secondly, the imminent introduction of the FA18 aircraft, also to be fitted with Harpoon and able to operate from new airfields being developed in northern Australia; thirdly, the existence of the P3C aircraft with Harpoon; fourthly, the existence of the Oberon submarines with Harpoon and Mark 48 torpedoes; and, finally, the existence of Navy destroyers fitted with Harpoon.