There are no permanent aircraft located at RAAF Base Darwin, however, a number of military aircraft transit or operate at the Base.
RAAF Base Darwin is primarily used as a staging base for transiting military aircraft and by deployed Squadrons for exercises. Transiting Australian Defence Force aircraft can include Lockheed C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, B-52 Stratofortress, Airbus Military KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), F/A-18F Super Hornet and F/A-18A/B Hornet and Army Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters. It is also used by Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallions and Bell MV-22 Osprey from the United States Marine Corp (USMC), the civilian Antonov AN-24, and B737.
AP-3C Orions operate out of RAAF Base Darwin supporting Operation Resolute protecting Australias borders and offshore maritime interests. The AP-3C Orion is the workhorse of Number 92 Wing, located at RAAF Base Edinburgh, near Adelaide.
From 2014, as part of the Australian and United States bilateral force posture initiatives, a detachment of four CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from Heavy Medium Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, will be accommodated at RAAF Base Darwin from March through to September of each year.
Super Stallion helicopter courtesy of US Navy
In addition to military aircraft, Darwin International Airport operates a mixture of regular civilian passenger aircraft (involving medium to larger propeller and jets) and smaller general aviation aircraft.
Air Force will base the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown (New South Wales) and RAAF Base Tindal (Northern Territory). Air Force will operate the F-35A from time to time for short-term exercises at RAAF Base Darwin.
The public consultation process for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for flying operations of the F-35A has concluded.Click here to view the approval decision for the final EIS or here for general information about the F-35A. Defence thanks all those who have participated in the public consultation process.
Eight P-8A Poseidon aircraft are planned to replace the AP-3C Orion by 2017-18. The AP-3C Orion will reach its life of type around 2019, by then it will have been in service with the Air Force for over 50 years