We need more bombers and drones fast, says Shadow Minister – Australian Aviation

The Loyal Wingman, now Ghost Bat, autonomous aircraft flying at Woomera, SA in 2021 (Defense, FLTLT Ricky Treloar)

Shadow Defense Minister Andrew Hastie said Australia needed to invest in bombers and drones quickly to prepare for a possible conflict.

In comments at a business breakfast in Perth, the former SAS commander called for an increase in defense spending “well above” 2 percent of GDP, arguing that “the window is closing fast” in order for Australia to be prepared for a major war.

“I don’t want to go into detail here today, except to make it clear that we need to build attack capabilities that could endanger an adversary across the archipelago to our north,” he said in words reported by The Australian.

“(We need) strike bombers, precision-guided missiles, and unmanned autonomous vehicles — in the skies and in the seas below.”

He also urged the defense to better target younger people to encourage them to enlist in the military.

“The emphasis on the service ethos is critical. Duty, honor and fatherland,” said the shadow minister.

“They may seem antiquated, but they are values ​​and principles that call people to stand up and fight for something bigger than themselves. Aren’t these values ​​we all want to see in our employees?”

Hastie’s legendary service saw him deployed to Afghanistan as a cavalry squad leader before becoming SAS squad commander and touring the Middle East and Indo-Pacific. He first entered Parliament in 2015, where he won the Canning by-election for the Liberals.

It comes after Australian Aviation reported in September how Hastie has urged the federal government to explore the potential of purchasing the B-21 Raider under development.

He was referring to statements by Admiral Phil Davidson, former commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, who last year warned China against taking military action against Taiwan in the next six years – a timeline dubbed the “Davidson window.” becomes.

“We are now five years old [away] if we go with his timeline [and] We won’t see a nuclear submarine in the next five years,” he said.

“The question is what are we going to do to protect ourselves against this over the next five years [why] We need to start talking about attack capabilities like missiles and possibly B-21s from the United States.

“We need to be able to hold off a vulnerable adversary that has passed the archipelago to our north, and to do that you need attack capabilities — missiles, aircraft and long-range nuclear submarines.”

The B-21 is the “successor” to the UFO-like B-2 Spirit, capable of carrying nuclear weapons and costing $2 billion each.

Introduced in the late 1980s, the Batwing bomber is considered America’s most prestigious and valuable aircraft, with only 20 in active service.

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