The Australian Air Force Can Send Just Two Fighters Into Battle With China

Date: Jul 5, 2020
By: David Axe, Contributor

With China’s armed forces growing bigger and more sophisticated by the year, Western and allied militaries are scrambling to keep up.

The Australian military, for one, has a plan for taking the fight to China. As part of a $400 billion defense-wide plan stretching out to 2030, the Royal Australian Air Force intends to arm its growing fleet of American-made fighters with long-range cruise missiles.

Farther in the future, additional support planes could further bolster the fighters.

But the tyranny of distance—Australia lies more than a thousand miles from any likely battle zone—imposes hard limits on Canberra’s ability to wage aerial warfare against a distant enemy. Every mile an air package must travel in order to reach the fight decreases its endurance in battle and increases its reliance on tankers and early-warning planes.    [FULL  STORY]