Darwin Maintenance Center Plan Progresses

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on February 18 announced the release of a tender for an industry partner to head a new Navy regional maintenance center in Darwin.

The announcement was made during Morrison’s visit to HMAS Coonawarra.

The regional maintenance center will support new capabilities, including the evolved Cape-class patrol boats and Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels expected to arrive in Darwin in the next few years.

The center will inject about $160 million into the Northern Territory’s economy.

“As our most northern port, Darwin is a critical strategic location for Defence,” Mr Morrison said.

“A network of four regional maintenance centers is being established in strategic locations across the country in support of [the government’s] continuous naval shipbuilding [program].

“This will ensure complex naval capability is available when and where required.”

While visiting the base, the Prime Minister toured Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Ararat, meeting Navy personnel to discuss their work and experiences in Darwin.

Commanding Officer HMAS Coonawarra Captain Moses Raudino met the Prime Minister and showed him some of the extensive construction work underway on the base.

“HMAS Coonawarra–Larrakeyah Defence Precinct has a tremendous amount of construction activity underway across the base and the changes over the next few years will add significant enhancements and additions to capability to the Navy in the Top End,” Captain Raudino said.

“We will be able to house, feed and support a much larger workforce.

“We will sail ships from here that go faster and farther, with more versatile capability.

“We will be better placed to support multi-domain operations for both the ADF and our allies in the region as we grow our thinking, fighting, Australian Navy in the Top End.

“The regional maintenance centre tender announced [on February 18] will be key to supporting that transformation and much of our future capability.

Regional Maintenance Centre North is scheduled to be operational in 2023 and is a key part of Defense’s Plan Galileo.

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