The federal government will invest more than $1 billion into the Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal, marking an expansion of air force infrastructure and capability as part of a push into the Indo-Pacific.
The government announced it has approved a further $1.1 billion in works at the RAAF base Tindal, located 15 kilometres outside Katherine and 320 kilometres south-east of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
The latest announcement comes on top of the $495 million already invested in new air combat infrastructure.
Under the redevelopment projects, $737 million will go towards upgrading the airfield and extension of the runway, building a new terminal, and extra fuel storage facilities.
While $437 million will provide infrastructure upgrades such as engineering services, along with 108 new units for defence personnel.
Construction is expected to commence from mid-2020, subject to parliamentary approval, with completion expected by the end of 2027.
In announcing the push, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said more than 300 jobs would be created in the project’s construction phase.
“It will be integral to our Alliance with the United States, and increase the reach of Air Force capabilities in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
“The Australian government has improved $1.1 billion to undertake a seven-year program here at Tindal.”
RAAF Base Tindal’s personnel comprise almost 25 per cent of Katherine's 10,000 population.
Northern Australia was identified as “strategically important”, for national defence and as a forward base for regional engagement in a 2016 Defence White Paper.
The airfield was constructed in 1942 during World War II and declared an operational Air Force Base in 1984.