Australia upgrades air defence boosting strategic military ties with US to deter China in Indo-Pacific

[TamilNet, Friday, 13 March 2020, 23:22 GMT]
Australia, one of the Quad partners in the emerging Indo-Pacific military alliance of the US, has recently decided to spend A$1.1 billion to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base at Tindal, which is located in its Northern Territory. When the upgrade is complete, the RAAF Tindal will be the “most potent military base south of Guam,” according to Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb AM, who is the director of Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University. The US Air Force would be able to operate its nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers from the expanded airfield in the future. In the meantime, the US has approved the sales of up to 200 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) of the type AGM-158C at the estimated cost of A$1.47 billion.

“The significance of these two developments occurring at the same time should not be underestimated and certainly not in Beijing,” writes the strategist academic, who is a former intelligence chief.

The Tindal Base is beyond the reach of Chinese conventional ballistic missiles, for the time being, he notes in his latest article titled “How Australia can deter China”.

The air-launched stealthy cruise missiles could be fired from the RAAF’s new JSFs when they are delivered, or its F/A-18F Super Hornets reported The Australian, which broke the news of Tindal upgrade.

The paper also said that the airbase upgrade follows the decision by the US State Department to approve the sale of long-range anti-ship cruise missiles in February 2020.

[A discussion at ASPI on the thesis proposed by Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb AM in his latest ASPI Special Report, ‘How the geopolitical partnership between China and Russia threatens the West’ Video courtesy: ASPI]

Paul Dibb AM, who authored a special report in December 2019, titled “How the geopolitical partnership between China and Russia threatens the West”, considers that a grand coalition, emerging between China and Russia, as a geopolitical fact.

Such a development would be the most dangerous scenario for the US in the era of growing tensions among the major powers, according to the English-born Australian strategist, academic and former intelligence chief.

The territorial ‘adventurism’ of China and Russia was encouraging other countries such as India in the case of Kashmir to attempting to resolve the outstanding territorial issue in their favour, he observed in the special report, which was published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

South China Sea
South China Sea: China has built huge island bases [Image courtesy: Express, DX)
Australian bases
[Illustration courtesy: The Wall Street Journal]

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External Links:
Australian DoD: Doorstop, Katherine, NT
ASPI: How the geopolitical partnership between China and Russia threatens the West
The Strategist (ASPI): How Australia can deter China



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