skip to main content

Base point: US, Australia enhance airbase for rotational bomber deployments

The crew of a USAF B-52H Stratofortress from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron work in the cockpit before an early morning sortie from RAAF Base Darwin in 2018. US bombers have been visiting Australia since the early 1980s and conducting training in Australia since 2005. However, Washington and Canberra are planning rotational deployments of bombers from Australia. (USAF/SSgt Alexander W Riedel)

The United States and Australia are planning infrastructural improvements at a remote airbase in Northern Australia to support the rotational deployment of United States Air Force (USAF) bombers.

US government documents show that Washington, in co-operation with Canberra, has drafted detailed plans to add a “USAF squadron operations facility” and other infrastructure to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Tindal in Australia's Northern Territory.

The project highlights Australia's growing role in the Indo-Pacific as a forward base for US forces and for US Bomber Task Force (BTF) missions. According to Janes data, US strategic air operation bases are limited to Hawaii, Guam, and Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

An Australian Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson confirmed to Janes that the US “is funding a project to construct an aircraft parking apron at RAAF Base Tindal”. The project will give RAAF Base Tindal the capability to accommodate “up to six B-52 aircraft and other aircraft types”, the spokesperson said.

US contract documents call for the construction of a USAF “aircraft maintenance support facility”, a “storage facility to support flight line maintenance and storage for aircraft support equipment and a parking area” for B-52s.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...