Australia contemplated acquiring the B-21 Stealth Bombers as it endeavored to boost its long-range strike capabilities amid China’s muscle flexing.
The potential for the B-21 bomber to serve Australia had been explored by defense analysts from the country’s premier think tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).
In August 2022, the Australian Defense Minister, Richard Marles, indicated that the next-gen stealth bomber was “being examined” for a potential acquisition.
However, this is the first time the B-21 Raider had been discussed in Australia’s most critical defense policy document, based on which the government assigns its defense budget.
“The Review has undertaken detailed discussions in Australia and the United States in relation to the B-21 Raider as a potential capability option for Australia,” said the report.
In the end, however, the Australian government decided against buying the B-21s. Instead, it opted to acquire more F-35A stealth fighters.
“In light of our strategic circumstances and the approach to Defense strategy and capability development outlined in this Review, we do not consider the B-21 a suitable option for consideration for the acquisition,” the report said.