An extensive construction program to upgrade RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory to be able to better support and operate new RAAF and foreign air power capabilities has commenced.
The $1.1 billion project will see almost every element of Tindal’s infrastructure, services, and facilities upgraded. These include a major airfield works and associated infrastructure project which will see the runway and taxiways lengthened and widened, a new air movements ramp and terminal, a dramatic increase in aviation fuel storage, a major re-investment in the base’s electrical, water and sewerage services, and will provide additional living-in accommodation for RAAF personnel posted to the base.
Also planned are new facilities to accommodate the F-35 Lightning II fighters of 75SQN, new visiting squadron headquarters building and accommodation, and facilities to accommodate the MQ-4C Triton maritime UAS. The longer runway, larger fuel farm, and increased air movements ramp will allow up to four KC-30A MRTTs to be based at Tindal during major exercises or operations in Australia’s north.
“Over the next decade, the planned works will further enhance Defence air combat capability and our engagement with allies and other nations through the conduct of joint exercises, including our Enhanced Air Cooperation with the United States Air Force,” Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said in a statement.
The “RAAF Base Tindal redevelopment project will also address critical upgrades to base engineering services including power, water, and sewerage to support current and future projected demands on base infrastructure.”
The runway will be lengthened from 9,000 feet to 11,000 feet and the shoulders widened from three metres to 10.5 metres to accommodate large aircraft wingspan overhang, while the taxiways will also be widened to accommodate the larger aircraft. These larger aircraft include bombers, tanker, and transport aircraft that may be deployed to Tindal as part of the US Force Posture Initiative.
The runway will have an operational readiness platform at each end, while the new air movements ramp and terminal will be located north of the current ramp.
Work is expected to be complete in 2027.