With the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Adelaide (Oliver Hazard Perry) Class: Frigate, Her MajestyÕs Australian Ship (HMAS) NEWCASTLE (FFG 06) underway in the background, two US Navy (USN) F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft, assigned to the “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron Fourteen (VFA-14), prepare to launch from the flight deck of the USN Aircraft Carrier, USS NIMITZ (CVN 68). The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is currently on a regularly scheduled deployment participating in Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf area.

Midst rising regional tensions in its neighborhood, Australia stated it will up its defense spending to $770 million (A$1 billion) to develop new naval weapon capabilities, including torpedoes and long-range missiles said the federal government in a statement.

The development is part of a big defence upgrade midst rising regional tensions stemming from increased aggressive behavior from China.

Australia plans to equip its naval units with advanced long-range anti-ship missiles, advanced lightweight torpedoes, extended range surface-to-air missiles, and maritime land strike capabilities to “project and maintain sea control”, said the government in a statement.

“These new capabilities will provide a strong, credible deterrent that will ensure stability and security in the region,” said Defence Minister Linda Reynolds in a statement.

The increased in military spending is part of a previously announced defence budget increase over the next decade even as the country seeks to pivot its military focus to the Indo-Pacific region midst worsening relations with China.

In a statement the Australian government said, it would provide anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles with ranges of more than 230 miles (370 km), and maritime land strike missiles with ranges of 1,500 km to “enhance the protection of our maritime resources and borders, and hold adversaries at risk of much greater distances”.

($1 = 1.2967 Australian dollars)