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Australia inks $38m deal to kickstart domestic missile manufacturing

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The Albanese Government has announced a landmark contract worth $37.4 million between the Defence Department and Lockheed Martin Australia, aimed at commencing domestic production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System.

This move marks a pivotal step towards establishing a self-sustained missile manufacturing industry in the country, a critical objective outlined in response to the Defence Strategic Review.

The contract will not only facilitate the production of an initial batch of GMLRS missiles within Australian borders but also serve as a catalyst for the transfer of essential technical data from the United States, the establishment of robust engineering certification processes, and the development of technical expertise among the Australian workforce.

In addition to the GMLRS missiles, the Australian Government has also confirmed the procurement of Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM). Both PrSM and GMLRS have the capability to engage targets at distances of up to 500 kilometers, making them a formidable addition to the nation’s defense arsenal.

These missiles can be launched from High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, further enhancing their versatility and effectiveness.

This groundbreaking initiative is part of the $4.1 billion investment plan unveiled in response to the Defence Strategic Review, which aims to bolster the Australian Defence Force’s long-range strike capabilities and promote the in-country production of extended-range munitions.

Satisfaction and development

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP, expressed his satisfaction with the development, stating, “Signing this contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to commence the manufacturing of GMLRS in Australia from 2025 is another example of the Albanese Government delivering key outcomes of the Defence Strategic Review.

“These are important milestones which will see Australia gain the technology we need to establish a sovereign industry, providing opportunities for a highly-skilled workforce.”

Acting Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, also lauded the agreement, affirming, “This announcement delivers on the Albanese Government’s commitment to reprioritise Defence capabilities in line with the Defence Strategic Review, including developing the ADF’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer range.

“This important first step towards the establishment of domestic guided weapons manufacturing in Australia will complement the acquisition of long-range precision strike capabilities and strengthen the ADF’s ability to protect Australia and its interests. This work is a clear demonstration of the ongoing collaboration between Australia and the United States on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise – a key outcome of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in July 2023.”

As Australia prepares to take a significant leap in its missile manufacturing capabilities, this historic agreement with Lockheed Martin Australia marks a milestone in the country’s journey towards self-reliance and strengthening its national defense infrastructure.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Global markets hit record highs all thanks to AI

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Is AI the main contributor behind the soaring markets in Australia, the US, Japan, and Germany?

Financial markets worldwide have witnessed record highs, creating a wave of optimism among investors.

The surge is attributed to a combination of positive economic indicators, policy developments, and the integration of AI across key economies, including Australia, the United States, Japan, and Germany. #ticker today #featured

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Dune Part 2 sets box office ablaze with $178m worldwide

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As “Dune: Part Two” continues its intergalactic journey on the silver screen, director Denis Villeneuve’s epic sequel has ignited the international box office, amassing a stellar $97 million from 71 overseas markets.

This impressive overseas performance has propelled the film’s global tally to a promising $178.5 million, further solidifying its status as a cinematic force to be reckoned with.

Starring powerhouse talents such as Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, “Dune: Part Two” has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, earning widespread acclaim and enthusiastic support.

The film’s success in North American theaters, where it secured the biggest domestic opening weekend of the year with $81.5 million, has been complemented by robust ticket sales in international territories.

Large formats

The immense popularity of “Dune: Part Two” has been particularly evident in premium large formats, such as Imax, which accounted for 48% of initial sales, driving up the film’s revenue even further. Mary Parent, producer of “Dune,” remarked on the film’s cultural impact, expressing confidence in its longevity at the box office.

Despite facing challenges due to the hefty production and promotional costs—reportedly totaling $190 million and $100 million respectively—the sequel has already demonstrated its box office prowess, surpassing expectations in its initial run.

With a global audience eagerly embracing the continuation of Frank Herbert’s epic saga, “Dune: Part Two” is poised for a successful box office run.

The film’s international debut marks a significant milestone in Villeneuve’s career, achieving the largest opening weekend in all 71 markets—a testament to its universal appeal. Notable highlights include the United Kingdom, where it earned $11.8 million, as well as France ($9.6 million), Germany ($9.1 million), Korea ($6.9 million), and Australia ($6 million).

With upcoming releases in key markets such as China and Japan, “Dune: Part Two” is poised to further bolster its global box office performance.

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Can’t beat ’em, buy ’em – Will Apple buy an EV maker next?

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Tesla’s competitors, including Rivian, Lucid, and Fisker, find themselves grappling with significant challenges, sparking speculation about potential acquisitions and partnerships within the industry.

Rivian, once hailed as a formidable rival to Tesla, has faced a stark reversal of fortunes.

Following a disappointing quarter and outlook, the company announced a workforce reduction of approximately 10%, while its market capitalization plummeted from a peak of $153 billion in 2021 to $11 billion.

Speculation arose about tech giant Apple considering an acquisition of Rivian, with industry experts citing the company’s low valuation as a potential attraction.

Gene Munster, managing partner of Deepwater Asset Management, suggested that Apple, having recently abandoned its own EV project, might view Rivian as an opportunity to enter the EV market.

Apple’s bad luck

While Apple’s history of acquisitions has been relatively conservative, Munster emphasized the potential significance of such a move for the tech giant.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered a grim assessment of Rivian’s prospects, highlighting the urgency for cost-cutting measures and operational improvements. Musk’s remarks underscored the precarious position facing Rivian as it navigates through challenging market conditions.

In a similar vein, Lucid Motors has experienced a substantial decline in its market capitalization, dropping from a peak of $91.4 billion to $7.6 billion.

The company’s production targets have been revised downwards significantly, leading to speculation about its future viability. Despite rumors of a potential acquisition by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, no such deal has materialized, leaving Lucid to confront its operational and financial hurdles independently.

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