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The new generation of US stealth bomber B-21 may be deployed in Australia

[The Epoch Times, February 07, 2023] (The Epoch Times reporter Xiao Jie compiled a report in Sydney, Australia) According to a congressional proposal submitted to the US Secretary of Defense, the United States may send or deploy a new generation of B-21 stealth bombers to Australia , to “promote” Australia’s national security. Any arrangements are likely to be made under the AUKUS security agreement.

The U.S. Air Force last December publicly demonstrated the B-21 Raider, a new stealth bomber with long-range nuclear capabilities. The new bomber is expected to make its first flight this year and eventually replace the U.S. B-1 and B-2 bombers.

Adam Smith, a Democratic member of Congress and former chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, was formally promoting a plan to “send B-21 bombers” and “lease or transfer U.S. legacy submarines” before leaving his post as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in January. for use in Australia”.

In a resolution included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023, Democrats asked U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to conduct an independent assessment of the “challenges” of implementing the Australia-UK alliance security agreement and explore alternatives. programs to help U.S. allies.

“Alternative options that would significantly advance Australia’s national security include: (A) an interim submarine program, including the leasing or transfer of US legacy submarines for Australian use; or (B) the delivery of B-21 bombers.”

Smith said leasing or deploying “legacy” U.S. submarines was part of an alliance security agreement between Australia, Britain and the United States.

Smith is a Washington state legislator. The sudden closure of four dry docks in the state due to earthquake fears has made it more difficult for the U.S. Navy to deploy, maintain and decommission nuclear-powered submarines.

Just before Christmas, Jack Reed, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and then-Republican Senator Jim Inhofe wrote to President Biden, expressing serious concerns about the security agreement of the Australia-UK It warned that the agreement could damage the US industrial base and bring it to a “tipping point”.

Reid later clarified that he was “proud to support the Australia-UK-US security agreement”, while members of both parties in Congress have also publicly expressed support for a partnership with the UK and Australia to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Marcus Hellyer, a former Australian defense official, said it was clear the US Congress was concerned about the risks to business from the Australia-UK US security deal and wanted to better understand those risks.

“Given these risks, it makes sense to instruct the US Department of Defense to examine as soon as possible a range of ways to enhance Australia’s military capabilities, including consideration of the B-21 bomber,” Hellier told the ABC.

A spokesman for Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles did not respond to questions about whether the possibility of deploying B-21 bombers to Australia had been discussed with the US during his meeting in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation revealed last week that Australian Prime Minister Albanese is planning to visit the United States next month to officially announce Australia’s “best way” to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Source: Epoch Times