US plans to deploy B-52 bombers in northern Australia: Report | Military news
The US Air Force tells the ABC that its ability to deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Australia “sends a strong message to our adversaries”.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the United States is preparing to send six B-52 nuclear bombers to an air base in northern Australia.
Citing American documents, ABC reported On Monday Washington had drawn up detailed plans to build dedicated facilities for the aircraft at Tindal Air Base, about 300 km (185 miles) south of the city of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The Australian Department of Defense did not comment on the report, but the US Air Force told the broadcaster that its ability to deploy bombers in “Australia sends a strong message to our adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power.”
Analysts told the ABC the move was a warning to China amid fears it could invade the self-ruled island of Taiwan.
“Having bombers that could attack and potentially hit mainland China could be very important in sending a signal to China that any of its actions on Taiwan could expand even further,” said Becca Wasser from the Center for a New American Security. .
Tensions with China have made northern Australia a crucial defense hub for the United States and it has pledged to spend $1 billion to upgrade its military assets in the region, the ABC report said.
Washington’s plans for Tindal include a “squadron operations facility” for use during the Northern Territory’s dry season, an adjacent maintenance center, and a parking area for the six B-52s, he said.
The B-52, designed and built by Boeing, is the most combat-capable bomber in the US inventory, according to the aircraft manufacturer.
The long-range heavy bomber has been the backbone of the US Air Force and is capable of deploying both nuclear and conventional weapons.
ABC quoted the US Air Force as saying that Australia’s ability to host the bombers and conduct joint training exercises showed “how integrated our air forces are”.
The reported move is likely to inflame tensions with China.
Beijing was quick to condemn a precedent defense pact signed between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom in 2021 that proposed to give Canberra the technology to build nuclear submarines for the first time.
At the time, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the historic AUKUS pact risked “severely damaging regional peace” and “intensifying the arms race.”
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