Secretary of the air force: the US armed forces need more air tankers
According to Heather Wilson, they’re necessary to counter the military threat from China
Us military need more squadrons of air tankers to compete with modernized armed forces of China, said on Wednesday the Minister of the air force Heather Wilson.
“Challenges in the Pacific are associated with harsh conditions caused by large distances, which significantly enhances the value of the squadrons of tankers,” said Wilson, speaking Wednesday at the Senate hearings on the readiness of the air force.
Tanker aircraft used to refuel military aircraft in flight. The U.S. air force recently announced plans to increase the number of such squadrons from 40 to 54 by 2030.
“When we build the forecasts for 2025, 2030-th year, determining the threat, we believe, is China,” said Wilson.
In September, the American B-52 bombers conducted transit operations in international airspace over the South China sea and East China sea.
The Pentagon called them part of their “continued presence of bombers” in the region, but China described them as “provocation”.