Australia’s Apaches will be based in Townsville

The government has announced it will spend nearly $700 million in Townsville to support the Australian Army’s new AH-64E Apache helicopters, where they will be based from 2025.

FILE PHOTO: AH-64E Apache fitted with AN/APG-78 LONGBOW fire-control radar. Photo supplied.

RAAF Townsville will undergo renovations and new facilities will be constructed to accommodate the Apache attack helicopters and their crews.

Army’s 1st Aviation Regiment will relocate to Townsville incrementally as it continues to operate the ARH Tiger from Darwin until that aircraft’s planned withdrawal from service in 2028.

This announcement is consistent with improving the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate from Australia’s northern bases – one of the six priority areas for immediate action identified in the Defence Strategic Review.

Minister for Defence Richard Marles said the geographic consolidation of industrial support to ADF helicopters would generate greater operational reliability and reduce sustainment and flying costs.

“In Townsville, Boeing Australia will provide maintenance support to the Apache and Chinook helicopters,” Mr Marles said.

“In Sydney, Nowra and south-east Queensland, Lockheed Martin Australia and Sikorsky Australia will provide maintenance support to the UH-60M Blackhawk and MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters.

“In the past year we have taken a number of difficult and important decisions to improve the Army’s aviation capability.

“Our significant investment in renovated and new facilities at RAAF Townsville will ensure the ADF members and civilians working with Apache have the infrastructure they need to support these important capabilities.”

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said the relocation of the 1st Aviation Regiment to Townsville would help Defence sustain the new Apache helicopters more efficiently and effectively, and would mean more high-skilled, secure jobs in Townsville.

“The hubs created as a result of consolidating and re-locating our helicopter capabilities will also generate other opportunities for international partners to operate and be supported in Australia,” Mr Conroy said.

 

 


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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “Australia’s Apaches will be based in Townsville

  • 16/07/2023 at 1:46 pm
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    Wonderful addition to our combat forces; force and capability multiplier in every way.
    Hopefully the original 29 is just the beginning, with a desirable new additional regiment also in WA as soon as possible, to get to grips with operating there in the far north and far south also in the NT.
    Lots of opportunities also for innovative and novel new ways of using these aircraft in both attack and defence.
    That is what you get from such an investment.
    Will be a real maturing influence in war fighting for the AAAvn!

    Reply

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