The US wants to store munitions and defence equipment in Australia’s Top End under a bilateral force posture review to better prepare the ANZUS allies for growing strategic threats from China.
Mr Goldman said geostrategic tensions required a more “innovative defence partnership” between Australia and the US, including co-production of precision-guided weapons on Australian soil.
He said a bilateral force posture review working group, established following last year’s AUSMIN talks, had met for the first time earlier this month to discuss “a wide range of contingencies”.
Mr Goldman said it was too early to provide details on any new initiatives, but said pre-positioning US weapons in Australia offered strategic advantages.
Mr Goldman’s comments follow the US government’s announcement last year of a $15m contract to build an earth-covered weapons magazine and munitions conveyor at RAAF Base Tindal, south of Darwin, as well as upgraded fuel storages.