NT to build out US airforce capacity

Great news at The Australian:

Australia will step up its strat­egic push in the Indo-Pacific­ with a $1.1bn upgrade to RAAF Base Tindal­ in the Top End, to fast-track the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter rollout and provide a forward operati­ng base for US aircraft, includin­g strategic bombers.

The announcement, signed off by the national security committee of cabinet last week, marks a significant expansion in the reach of air force capability into the region and signals a more assertiv­e Australia-US posture as China continues to expand its strategi­c footprint into the region.

The Australian understands that major runway extensions, fuel stockpiles and engineering will be designed to support “Code E” large aircraft, such as US Air Force B-52 strategic bombers and RAAF KC-30 air-to-air refuellers to ­operate out of one of the country’s most strategically significant air­bases, located at Katherine in the Northern Territory.

Bravo. It’s not that I’m any fan of arms races or warfare in general. Cripes.

But the CCP’s push south doesn’t leave a whole of choice if you want to bulwark our liberal democracy with something more substantial than marshmellows.

David Llewellyn-Smith


    • If Adam and Eve were Chinese, we would still be in Paradise. He would never have listened to a woman, and they would have eaten the snake.

  1. There are numerous airstrips up there from WWII that could do with a bit of a refresh too. Extra landing strips on our northern approaches would serve us well. While they’re at it, how about some more air defense installations and a northern Australia fibre optic loop to ensure rapid sharing on radar & other sensor data.

  2. One wonders whether some Liberal cabinet member will lease the airbase to the Chinese after completion, like you Aussies did with the port of Darwin.

    • Providing the relevant cabinet minister is not due to retire and is not looking for a cosy $800K per year job with a company connected to the CPP there is very little risk of that happening.

      Scott Morrison has done a lot of work to ensure that members of his government are not making decisions designed to improve their post politics job prospects or those of their dim children, spouses or extended family or preferred sports and social club.

      The work he has done is already reaping rewards……


  3. I hope we will buy some S400/500 to protect our investment…….Patriots not getting that many runs on the board especially against hypersonics

    • Bravo. It’s not that I’m any fan of arms races or warfare in general.

      Really. And you worked at the Diplomat for how long ? David lets be quite frank – at least half your articles, every single day are rabid anti-Chinese propaganda. It makes Infowars look grounded and reasonable such is the unrelenting vociferous onslaught.

      So you constantly have a claim to understanding international relations – even attempting to drop Francis Fukuyama into the conversation albeit entirely out of context and totally misread.

      So what will F-35’s and strategic bombers do in Northern Territory against China ?

      Here’s the run down for you:

      The ENTIRE purpose of this base is for US operations in South East Asia. The United States has never – and would never engage in warfare against an adversary that has even the remotest possiblity of fighting back and has always engaged in wars against utterly defenseless nations in operations of geo-strategy, resource acquisition or purely for training / demonstration / military preparedness (I hesitate to mention the most frequent reason – straight up profiteering for defense contractors – but its there nonetheless)

      F-35 can not attack anyone beyond a tiny limited range – certainly not China – and the idea that they could be used against a Chinese attack on Australia is so utterly laughable and ridiculous assumption it really isn’t worth discussing. The only point to make on that issue is that any assault on Australia would begin with that and all its planes being wiped out by an array of Dong Feng class ICBM’s and hypersonics. Nothing would be able to defend against them certainly not the S4/S500 soviet systems.

      This base is purely and utterly a boondogle for defense contractors – nothing less – and it is aimed at squarely setting up the US to launch attacks in the South East Asian region. NOTHING to do with China. And as always you are now supporting the relentless military attacks of the United States against the most impoverished people of the world – from North Korea, Vietnam, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Iraq – again, Libya, Guatemala, Chile, Panama, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, etc – the list is endless.

      Not quite endless – well over 100 countries attacked by the United States in the last century alone – overtly and covertly. That is the point of this base and these planes. Nothing less.

      A war between the US and China would not even see a single manned plane being used – they would be immediately shot down – stealth is entirely redundant in todays age – meaningless and its only purpose is against third world hell holes.

      There is reason Russia, China and the US are locked in a “space war” and hypersonic arms race – because, SPECIFICALLY they can no longer use stealth and rely on strategic bombers and 4th / 5th generation jets – they are useless.

      yes – you cheer on war, very specifically – and have done so most of your career – the absurd thin veil of considered defense of democracy is a 3-cup charade best reserved for the most gormless and gullible of your readers.


        • Lenny Hayes for PMMEMBER

          Interesting take – which countries in SE Asia will the US use these bases to strike first and why ?.

          Would be the end of Australia’s engagement with ASEAN you would think.

      • A war between the US and China would not even see a single manned plane being used – they would be immediately shot down – stealth is entirely redundant in todays age – meaningless and its only purpose is against third world hell holes.

        Is that because of the quantum super stealth hypersonic railgun technology that China has?

        • Of course!

          They are only building aircraft carriers because they love creating things from our red and black dirt and they will soon be converted into high roller floating casinos that can be moored at Garden Island.

        • Haven’t you read Sun Tzu? China is an expert at winning wars without fighting.

          Probably something to do with the fact that if actual fighting starts, China always tends to cop an almighty pasting.

        • Indeed. Like the Russians over at Zerohedge, China are big on promoting their top secret boys own hypersonic laser warp speed hypersonic missiles.

  4. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Can we get them to chuck in a few Highrise apartments too ……we can flog them to the Chinese to pay for the whole shebang ….
    Straya winning ,

  5. Jumping jack flash

    Military spending on research and manufacturing is a tried and true method to pull a country out of a depression.
    This is one strategy they are using over in the US, and things are slowly turning around (if the hype is to be believed, at least).

    I think it is a great idea in general, except it has to be done very carefully. History also shows that after a sustained period of military spending, research and manufacturing, things can get a bit out of hand…

    I would rather see the government build factories for producing peaceful items such as items for renewable energy, like batteries or solar panels or nuclear reactors or wind turbines or other things like that.

    And why not electric cars? That would be a fantastic area to get into, but the private sector wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole in this environment, as we all saw. It needs the government to take the first step.

  6. USA is the proven enemy of peace and freedom throughout the world.
    Forget the movies and TV shows this is fiction. Move on, grow up ,look at the evidence. Stop being big babies sucking on the teats of USA, open your eyes and look at the evidence, the countries and regimes USA supports and has supported.
    Supporters of two of the most extreme brutal, racist regimes in history, Saudi and Israel.
    Armed and funded many of the worst terrorists and dictators since WW2.
    Taught torture techniques to terrorist groups to help overthrow democratic governments.
    Most of this is well documented with evidence not crazy conspiracy theories.
    Bernie Sanders himself has documented some of the evil acts.
    911 was highly dubious event while I do not subscribe to conspiracy the evidence against the 911 event being as it was described by Bush admin looks doubtful. One part i know is false is the plane hitting the Pentagon. Impossible!