Unpacking the motivations and benefits of basing USAF B-52s in RAAF Base Tindal.
In late October, it was revealed that the United States will build dedicated facilities in the Northern Territory, including a “squadron operations facility” and parking areas for the aircraft.
The upgrades to Tindal that will allow it to house the B-52s are expected to cost $22.5 million and be financed by the US government.
The US Air Force appeared to confirm the plans telling the ABC, “The RAAF’s ability to host USAF bombers, as well as train alongside them, demonstrates how integrated our two air forces are.”
The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions, including nuclear and conventional bombing alongside maritime surveillance.
The US currently has a fleet of 76, and the aircraft type has been in operation for more than 60 years. During the first Gulf War, it dropped 40 per cent of the coalition force’s weapons.
It has an unrefuelled combat range in excess of 14,000 kilometres.