US plans to deploy nuclear-capable bombers to N Australia

TEHRAN, Oct. 31 (MNA) – The United States is preparing to send six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an air base in northern Australia, media sources say.

Dedicated facilities for the bombers will be set up at the Australian air force's remote Tindal base, about 300 km (190 miles) south of Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory, said the source, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

The development was first reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC)'s Four Corners program, citing US documents.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia engages with the United States on defense alliances "from time to time."

"There are visits, of course, to Australia, including in Darwin, that has US Marines, of course, on a rotating basis stationed there," Albanese said during a media conference.

Australia's Northern Territory is already hosting frequent military collaborations with the United States. Thousands of US Marines rotate through the territory annually for training and joint exercises, started under Barack Obama.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles' office declined to comment.

The United States has drawn up detailed plans for what it calls a "squadron operations facility" for use during the Northern Territory dry season, an adjoining maintenance center, and a parking area for the B-52s, the ABC report said.

MP/PR

News Code 193066

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