Australian news, and some related international items

US Air Force to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia

The US Air Force is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia in a show of “nuclear deterrence” to China. Frank Chung @franks_chung, October 31, 2022 ,

The US Air Force is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia in a show of “nuclear deterrence” to China, amid growing fears of an invasion of Taiwan.

According to an investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners airing on Monday, Washington has drawn up plans to build a dedicated a “squadron operations facility” at the Tindal air base south of Darwin that will house “six B-52s”.

The giant aircraft, with wingspan of 56 metres, have a combat range of more than 14,000 kilometres and are capable of delivering both nuclear and conventional weapons.

Documents obtained by Four Corners show the planned facilities, which will include a parking area and adjoining maintenance centre, 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 the program.

The Defence Department has been contacted for comment.

According to the program, the Tindal air base plan — expected to cost up to $US100 million and be completed by 2026 — is part of a much larger upgrade of defence assets across northern Australia, including the Pine Gap spy base.

Anti-nuclear activist Richard Tanter from the Nautilus Institute told Four Corners the move greatly expanded Australia’s commitment to any US war with China.

“It’s a sign to the Chinese that we are willing to be the tip of the spear,” he said.

“It’s very hard to think of a more open commitment that we could make. A more open signal to the Chinese that we are going along with American planning for a war with China.”

The plans were hinted at in last year’s annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) meetings, which agreed for “enhanced air co-operation” which would see “rotational deployment of US aircraft of all types in Australia”, although B-52s were not explicitly mentioned……………………..

NSW Greens Senator David Shoebridge slammed the “dangerous escalation”.

“It makes Australia an even bigger part of the global nuclear weapons threat to humanity’s very existence — and by rising military tensions it further destabilises our region,” he said……………………………………………………. more

October 31, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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