A$ 20M Base Improvements at Townsville for NH90s
The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment based at RAAF Townsville has received parliamentary approval for $20 million in new facilities for one of the key bases supporting its expanded NH90 helicopter fleet. The first NH90s are scheduled for delivery in late 2007, and the A$2 billion expansion of Australia’s planned fleet from 12 to 46 machines will allow it to gradually replace the Army’s existing S-70A Black Hawks.
The “Facilities for Troop Lift Helicopter” project combines the reconfiguration and refurbishment of a number of existing facilities at RAAF Base Townsville, with construction of some new purpose-built facilities to support Australia’s new “MRH90”. An advanced mission planning and computer-based training facility, a new Army Aviation Training Facility to provide transition training on the MRH90, a composites material workshop (the NH90 makes extensive use of composite materials), and upgrades to some existing facilities for the Black Hawk fleet are all envisaged as part of this project. No contracts have been issued as of yet, however. See Ministerial release.