big spending on northern bases

Northern Australia had already got a big boost in the 2023 Defence Strategic Review, including $3.8 billion to improve the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate and project force from our northern bases. Of that, $2 billion will be spent in the Northern Territory.

In the decade out to 2034, Australia will spend 4 percent of a whopping $765 billion defence budget—more than $30 billion—on hardening and upgrading northern bases. And $14-18 billion of that is coming down the pipeline soon. That’s big money.

RAAF Darwin is undergoing runway upgrade works so it can withstand heavy use by military and civilian aircraft, which is vital, and RAAF Tindal, 280 kilometres southeast, will host far-flying MQ-4C Triton, uncrewed maritime patrollers that will begin arriving this year.

Then there’s the army, which gets $7-10 billion for new littoral manoeuvre capabilities and $5-7 billion in related facilities in Queensland and Darwin, where three army units with 18 medium landing craft and eight heavy landing craft will be based. That equipment is central to our ability to transform the army into an amphibious force that can operate in the archipelagos and islands to our north and east.

"Picture the manoeuvres of the British and US planes that shot down Iranian missiles heading for Israel in April—only this time over the Arafura Sea, again." - *headdesk*