The US is not ruling out opportunities. This also applies to the next-generation stealth bomber under development. The B-21 Raider may already be sold outside the US before it even makes its first test flight.
Weeks ago, the Secretary of the US Air Force visited Australia. During his visit, he was asked by local analysts whether Washington would agree to Australia becoming a partner in the production of the B-21 Raider bomber. The second part of the question was whether the Australian military would ever be able to fly it.
The answer was terse, but it opened the door wide for possible future production and sale of the B-21. Frank Kendall first categorically stated that Washington would discuss such a possibility if Canberra formally proposed it. He then said: “I think the United States, in general, would like to talk to Australia about anything that is of interest from Australia’s point of view that we could help them with.”
Political and military experts from both countries are adamant that the chances of Australia co-producing the B-21 Raider with the US are high. First – is China. The “Asian dragon” is a threat to peace in the region, and the US would not miss an opportunity to secure its partners with several sales of the B-21 Raider.
On the other hand, Australia is part of the AUKUS project, in which the USA and the United Kingdom are also participants. It’s an advantage that could be key to a “B-21 Raider clearance” from the US.
Last but not least – the Solomon Islands. They are only 1,200 miles from Australia, and China has begun a serious security partnership with them. Australia will need a dominant air deterrent to ensure the security of Australian interests. The B-21 Raider is such a vehicle.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls, however, that such a partnership in the production of the B-21 is still far from becoming a fact. Several prototypes are yet to be developed, test flights will be made. According to the latest information from the United States, 2030 is the year in which the United States planned to start serial production of the bomber.
Frank Kendall’s response to the Australian questions was more optimistic, but not definitive. Kendall had to keep her cool at the unexpected question. The US is willing to share technology with partner countries, but only a fraction. Sensitive technology, such as stealth coverage, for example, is not shared by the US.
American analysts claim that if Australia joins the B-21 project, it will most likely be in the field of weapons technology with which the bomber will be equipped. This is an area in which both countries have traditions and can develop their engineering potential.
Finally – Frank Kendall’s answer means that the US is ready to support Australia at any cost against China. That should reassure Canberra that it can still count on help from Washington.