WORLD

US Air Force To Deploy Nuclear-Capable B-52 Bombers To Australia

“Having bombers that could range and potentially attack mainland China could be very important in sending a signal to China that any of its actions over Taiwan could also expand further,” she says.
01 Nov 2022 19:20
US Air Force To Deploy Nuclear-Capable B-52 Bombers To Australia
B-52s have been the backbone of the US Air Force for more than 60 years. Photo: U.S. Air Force

The United States is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia, a provocative move experts say is aimed squarely at China.

An investigation by Four Corners can reveal Washington is planning to build dedicated facilities for the giant aircraft at Tindal air base, south of Darwin.

The U.S has drawn up detailed plans for what it calls a “squadron operations facility” for use during the Northern Territory dry season, an adjoining maintenance centre and a parking area for “six B-52s”

Becca Wasser from the Centre for New American Security says putting B-52s in northern Australia is a warning to China, as fears grow Beijing is preparing for an assault on Taiwan.

“Having bombers that could range and potentially attack mainland China could be very important in sending a signal to China that any of its actions over Taiwan could also expand further,” she says.

The bombers are part of a much larger upgrade of defence assets across northern Australia, including a major expansion of the Pine Gap intelligence base, which would play a vital role in any conflict with Beijing.

The B-52s have been the backbone of the US Air Force for more than 60 years, with the capability to deliver long-range strikes of both nuclear and conventional weapons. The US documents say the facilities will be used for “deployed B-52 squadrons”.

“The ability to deploy US Air Force bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power,” the US Air Force told Four Corners.

Asked when the B-52s would begin their deployment at Tindal, Australia’s Department of Defence declined to comment.

 

Source: ABC News



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