The United States will deploy nuclear-capable bombers to a hangar in the North, a war games expert says will be a warning to China over Taiwan but a ‘bullseye’ over Australia.
Plans are in place for six of the strategic B-52 ‘Stratofortress’ bombers to be deployed from 2026 at RAAF Base Tyndall in Katherine.
American plans include a US$100 million parking area for giant aircraft, which can be armed with nuclear and conventional weapons, a ‘squadron operations facility’ and ammunition bunkers for long-range attacks.
The move is seen as a ‘warning’ to China and preparations for a war that a leading US expert on China has said would be the ‘worst war in modern history’.
American war games expert Beck Wasser said moving the B-52s to Australian soil was a ‘warning’ to Beijing.
Her employer, the Center for a New American Security, ran through the scenarios to examine how a potential conflict might unfold.
Ms Wasser said the conditions seen when the US stationed nuclear aircraft at Tyndall had ‘taken a toll on Australia’.
The United States is to deploy at least six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Uttar Pradesh.
Plans are for six of the strategic B-52 ‘Stratofortress’ bombers to be deployed at RAAF Base Tyndall in Uttar Pradesh from 2026.
American plans include a US$100 million parking area for giant aircraft, a ‘Squadron Operations Facility’ and an ammunition bunker at RAAF Base Tyndall, 320 km south-east of Darwin (pictured, RAAF Base Tyndall).
Australia did just that by directly joining the American fight against China.
Ms Wasser said in a war games exercise that Chinese attacks on Australia were ‘not successful’ because of the distance and because Beijing had used the longest-range missiles before the conflict.
But that could change if China develops a ‘more advanced missile capability’, she said.
The anti-nuclear activist also said the move would signal to Beijing that Australia was prepared to be the ‘tip of the spear’ in the US response to a Chinese attack on Taiwan, the ABC reported.
Beck Wasser, an American war games expert at the Center for a New American Security, said moving the B-52s to Australian soil was a ‘warning’ to Beijing.
One estimate of when that invasion could occur was revised to 2027 to 2025 — a gap of more than two years.
The US Air Force has approximately 76 B-52 bombers. They were built during the Cold War to carry nuclear weapons for deterrence missions.
The B-52 has a combat range of about 14,080 km without aerial refueling. They have recently been used for airstrikes against the Taliban.
Richard Tanter, a Melbourne University researcher who lectures on nuclear disarmament, claimed that putting the B52 in Darwin would be a clear ‘commitment’ to US plans for war with China.
‘It is a sign to the Chinese that we are ready to be the tip of the spear.’
He believes it is ‘more significant’ than the location of the US Marines in Darwin.
One in 10 Australians believe China will attack their country, double the number of Taiwanese who fear a similar attack
War game scenarios witnessed by Tyndall-based US Air Force ‘had a huge impact on Australia’, US expert says
One in 10 Australians believe China will attack their country, double the number of Taiwanese who fear a similar attack, according to the Australia Institute.
Oriana Skyler Mastro, a China expert at Stanford University, said Beijing is confident it can succeed in invading Taiwan and could try between 2025 and 2027.
‘For 15 years I asked the Chinese military if they could do it, and the answer was “no”. So the first time they start saying yes at the end of 2020, I think that’s an important message that we should pay attention to,” she said.
She recently said that a war between the US and China would be the ‘worst war in modern history’ and that the conflict would kill thousands every day.
In 2020, a $1.1 billion upgrade to RAAF Base Tyndall was announced, funded by the bipartisan US Force Posture Initiative (US FPI).
This year the US Department of Defense allocated $22.5 million for facilities at Tyndall.
‘The [squadron operations] The facility is required to support strategic operations for deployed B-52 squadrons and conduct multiple 15-day training exercises during the Northern Territory dry season,’ US documents said.
The US RAAF plans to build jet fuel storage tanks and ammunition bunkers at Base Tyndall.
There are also speculations that the US military will follow the investment at Tyndall based on Australia’s Navy, Air Force and Army as well as Marines.
Ashley Townshend from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said the B-52 was just the beginning of increased US activity in Australia.
The joint US and Australian spy base near Alice Springs has also been upgraded, Mr Tanter claims, adding more than 33 per cent to the number of giant antennas focused on China.