australian aviation logo

RAAF Base Townsville set for upgrade as part of $110m deal

written by Robert Dougherty | February 20, 2023

An Australian Army CH-47 helicopter from 5th Aviation Regiment prepares to take off at RAAF Base Townsville. (Defence, Linda Bone)

RAAF Base Townsville is one of three military bases set to benefit from an upgrade after the Australian government approved a $111.2 million contract with an Australasian construction company.

The deal with CPB Contractors will include new and upgraded engineering services, building refurbishment work and additional transit living-in accommodation.

Townsville Field Training Area and HMAS Cairns are the other two bases to benefit, with construction expected to start in the coming months and be complete by mid-2025.

RAAF Base Townsville is home to Australian Chinooks and Taipans but provides support services for other RAAF operations as well as exercises involving all in-service aircraft types.

It also operates as a forward operating base for forces being deployed on operations into the South West Pacific as well as to the North.


First Assistant Secretary Infrastructure Division, Security and Estate Group, Dan Fankhauser, said the program was an investment in the region and supported future Defence estate needs.

“North Queensland is and will remain an important maritime, land and air hub for Defence into the future,” Fankhauser said.

“The North Queensland Mid-Term Refresh Program ensures the ongoing sustainability of critical infrastructure in support of Australian Defence Force capability across the Townsville and Cairns region.

“Through the commitment to high local participation and apprenticeship targets, this will be a significant investment in the local economy.”

The iconic Chinook is primarily deployed for troop movement, artillery emplacement, and battlefield resupply.

Australia placed its first order for 12 in 1972, with delivery coming in October of the next year.

Australian Aviation reported last year how RAAF Base Townsville would receive two more CH-47F Chinooks as part of a foreign military sale from the United States.

Defence ordered a total of four additional Chinooks for approximately $595 million, with the first two arriving in July 2021.

This latest delivery takes the total size of the Australian Army Aviation Command’s CH-47F Chinook medium-lift helicopter fleet to 14.

The aircraft will be operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment, based at Townsville.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.