U.S. eyeing building naval base at Perth to blunt burgeoning Chinese maritime threat
Sydney, Aug 1 (ANI): A U.S. military report, which will be formally released on Thursday, contains a recommendation to massively expand America's defence presence in Australia, by building a base in Perth for a U.S. aircraft carrier and supporting fleet.
The Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report, commissioned by the Department of Defence, mentions moving a U.S. carrier strike group to the Her Majesty's Australian Ship (HMAS) Stirling base in Perth, which would include a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, a carrier air wing of up to nine squadrons, one or two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, one or two nuclear powered submarines and a supply ship, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Australia's geography, political stability, and existing defence capabilities and infrastructure offer strategic depth and other significant military advantages to the United States in light of the growing range of Chinese weapons systems, US efforts to achieve a more distributed force posture, and the increasing strategic importance of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean," the report said.
It suggested the U.S. could also consider building airport facilities to support "bombers and other aircraft".
It also suggested other initiatives could include "increased U.S. support for Australia's ailing Collins class submarine replacement project" and "full Australian participation in U.S. theatre missile defence".
The report said a fleet in Perth would be a "force multiplier" and estimated it would provide the equivalent military benefit of having three similar groups based outside the region. (ANI)
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