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U.S. weapons firm Northrop Grumman no doubt salivating as Australia looks to buy its nuclear-capable B-21 stealth bomber

“I’m pretty sure you will see Australia ask for the B-21, and the United States I can tell you, is very interested in selling them to Australia,” 

RAAF Chief Robert Chipman’s visit to United States sparks renewed speculation Australia could purchase nuclear-capable B-21 Raiders ABC News, 6 Dec 22

Regular rotations of America’s newest nuclear-capable stealth bomber, and even a possible future Australian purchase of the B-21 aircraft, are expected to be discussed during high level talks between both nations this week.

Key points:

  • The Defence Department hasn’t confirmed whether US officials have discussed deploying their new stealth bomber to Australia 
  • Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong will meet with their US counterparts this week
  • The US Air Force plans to build 100 of the B-21 raiders to replace their aging fleet

At a tightly controlled ceremony in California on Friday, the United States Air Force publicly unveiled the B-21 Raider, in front of an audience that included the Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years, designed to carry both conventional and nuclear weapons, with each plane believed to cost around $1 billion (AUD).

Specific details of the in-development aircraft remain shrouded in secrecy with six currently being produced by US arms company Northrop Grumman and the first flight expected to take place next year…………………………………..

The Defence Department is yet to confirm whether Air Marshal Chipman discussed future deployments of the B-21 to Australia with American officials while in the United States, or an eventual purchase of the long-range aircraft by the RAAF.

Defence Minister Richard Marles, who has previously suggested the B-21 is being examined by Australia in the Defence Strategic Review, has just arrived in the United States for talks with Secretary Austin……………………..

“I’m pretty sure you will see Australia ask for the B-21, and the United States I can tell you, is very interested in selling them to Australia,” says Sydney-based American military author Colin Clark, who writes for the Breaking Defense publication.

“Regardless of whether they are armed with nuclear weapons or are under Australian command, I am almost certain, emphasis on almost, that B-21s will at least rotate regularly through Australia and they may well be based here permanently.”

Retired Air Commodore John Oddie, a former RAAF director-general of aerospace development, also believes the B-21 is eventually destined for Australia……….

The US Air Force plans to build 100 of the B-21 Raiders which will replace the ageing B-1 and B-2 aircraft, and could eventually be used with or without a human crew.

Both the US Air Force and Northrop Gruman have heralded the Raider’s relatively quick development, progressing from contract award to public debut in seven years.  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-12-06/b21-nuclear-stealth-bomber-australian-military/101735190

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December 5, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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