Indo Pacific 2023


The Albanese Government is investing nearly $700 million in Townsville to support the new AH-64E Apache helicopters, where they will be based from 2025.

​This investment is another step in improving the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate from Australia’s northern bases, one of the six priority areas for immediate action identified by the Government in response to the Defence Strategic Review.

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 its planned withdrawal from service in 2028.

​The geographic consolidation of industrial support to ADF helicopters will generate greater operational reliability and reduce sustainment and flying costs.

In Townsville, Boeing Australia will provide maintenance support to the Apache and Chinook helicopters. In Sydney, Nowra and Southeast Queensland, Lockheed Martin Australia and Sikorsky Australia will provide maintenance support to the UH-60M Black Hawk and MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Richard Marles MP:

“The Apache is the most advanced attack helicopter operating today. Its introduction into service represents a capability leap for Army.

​“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.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Pat Conroy MP:

“The relocation of the 1st Aviation Regiment to Townsville will help Defence sustain the new Apache helicopters more efficiently and effectively, and will 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.”

“Defence-related investment in Darwin will grow over the coming years as new capabilities are moved to the north. This will include investment in major capital facilities and a net workforce growth in the Top End.”

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  1. Still can’t see the reasoning for buying Apaches ( an Attack Helicopter to replace an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) . It’s undoubtedly a good machine but not one the Army really has a need for, I’m not at all sure the Government is sincere in its support of the Defence Industry unless of course it’s the U.S. Defence Industry.

    • Army is in the process of wasting $8 billion – and counting. I’ve written extensively on the topic showing that Tiger is fine – the problem is with Army/CASG support arrangements. It has the same weapon load as Apache but is 4 tonnes lighter because it’s a 1990s design using a lot of carbon fibre, unlike the Apache from the 1970s. I still cannot believe that Army is throwing away this massive amount of money on a US helicopter that still uses mechanical flight controls.

    • Haha! On this one I am definitely not moving on. I’m still struggling to understand how Army is spending $7 billion – and counting – on a helicopter with mechanical flight controls. In the 21st century.


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