Australia gets new missiles, rockets

New missiles and rockets will be used to step up Australia's national security with the defence force shifting to a more aggressive posture.

Naval strike missiles will be loaded onto destroyers and frigates from 2024 and long-range, surface-to-surface rocket systems will be in use by 2027.

The truck-mounted high mobility artillery rocket system has been successfully deployed by the Ukrainian military over recent months.

The rocket system has a range of 300km, which is expected to increase to more than 500km as technology advances.

Cabinet minister Murray Watt says the increased range of the 20 rocket systems will be a significant boost to Australia's capabilities with the army's missile launchers currently only able to hit targets 40km to 50km away.

"One of the really key benefits of this is not just the mobility of these vehicles and these forces, but the range that those missiles can be fired," he told Sky News.

"We really want to make sure that our defence forces have the best equipment to keep Australian people safe."

The total package is set to cost taxpayers $1 billion.

The defence force is moving to a new "impactful projection" doctrine, where it is gearing up to be able to strike and deter enemies in the region at much greater distances.

The Australian Strategic Police Institute's Peter Jennings says the long-range rockets could even extend beyond the 500km range, with actual capabilities often being more advanced than publicly advertised.

"They're very, very portable. Anywhere you can fly an aircraft you can have one of these things operating very quickly," he said.

"What we've seen in Ukraine is that they are incredibly accurate and that they can be moved quickly."

Mr Jennings said the military needs to be developing and acquiring long-range capabilities that extend deep into the Pacific, predicting that Australia may only have 24 months to prepare for any conflict with China.

"For Australia, given our geography, the longer the range, the better," he said.

He added that the military is playing catch-up and is where it should have been five years ago.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham said Australia needed to continue to invest in its defence force to ensure it was able to combat security challenges, including terrorism.

"There are challenges from more autocratic regimes that we've seen evidenced very clearly by Russia's invasion of Ukraine," he told 4BC radio.

"That means as a nation, we have to be prepared."