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U.S. Space Surveillance Systems To Be Hosted By Australia

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PERTH, Australia -- Australia will host two U.S. space surveillance systems as part of closer military ties agreed to Wednesday at a bilateral security summit.

The new cooperation on space is one of a string of enhanced engagements agreed on at an annual summit attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and their Australian counterparts.

The two militaries have agreed that Australia will operate a U.S. Air Force C-band ground-based radar system near the northwestern town of Exmouth.

Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith announced they also plan to relocate a Space Surveillance Telescope from New Mexico to an as-yet undecided location in Western Australia.

Panetta described the relocation as "a major leap forward in bilateral space cooperation."

Together the radar and telescope will provide accurate tracking and identification of objects in space such as satellites and debris. The radar will be delivered in 2014 at the site of a former U.S. Navy communications base.

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