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RAAF Base Townsville

Aircraft

The KA350 King Air aircraft is operated by Number 38 Squadron from RAAF Base Townsville.

Other Air Force aircraft use RAAF Base Townsville from time to time during exercises and deployments. These aircraft include AP- 3C Orion, C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, F/A-18A/B Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets.

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Number 38 Squadron King Air K350, A32-671, in flight off the coast of Townsville

Army's 5th Aviation Regiment

5th Aviation Regiment is an Australian Army aviation unit and was formed in Townsville on 20 November 1987. The Regiment has three Squadrons which operate the majority of the Army’s transport helicopters including the MRH-90 Multi Role Helicopter and the CH-47 Chinook.

MRH-90 Multi Role Helicopter

‘A’ Squadron and ‘B’ Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment, are equipped with the MRH-90 Multi Role Helicopter.

Australian Army MRH-90 helicopters from 5th Aviation Regiment ready to take off from Townsville Field Training Area

Australian Army MRH-90 helicopters from 5th Aviation Regiment ready to take off from the Townsville Field Training Area.

CH-47 Chinook Helicopter

‘C’ Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment, operate the CH-47 Chinook which is a twin engine, tandem rotor medium lift helicopter.

Australian Army soldiers from 109 Battery, 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, hook up a 155m M777A2 Howitzer to a 5th Aviation Regiment CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Australian Army soldiers from 109 Battery, 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, hook up a 155m M777A2 Howitzer to a 5th Aviation Regiment Ch-47 Chinook helicopter

Future Aircraft

F-35A Lightning II aircraft

RAAF Base Townsville will be used as a major Forward Operating Base for the F-35A Lightning II aircraft transiting through or on deployment for military training exercises.

The F-35A is the most suitable aircraft for Australia’s future air combat and strike needs and will replace the current aging F/A-18A/B Hornets.

Most of Australia’s new F-35A aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown. Air Force has developed flying operations for the F-35A which minimise potential noise impacts while meeting operational requirements. This includes procedural and flight path modifications to limit, to the greatest extent practicable, the noise impact on the surrounding population.

In the same way that F/A-18 Hornets currently deploy to bases around Australia, the F-35A will use RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Townsville to conduct occasional short-term flying operations such as military training exercises. RAAF Base Pearce (Western Australia), RAAF Base Edinburgh (South Australia) and RAAF Base Amberley (Queensland) will also support short-term flying operations of the F-35A aircraft, but will be used less frequently.

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.

Royal Australian Air Force's first F-35A Lighting II successfully taking flight from Fort Worth, Texas on Monday, 29 September 2014

The first of Australia’s Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II successfully taking flight from Fort Worth, Texas on Monday, 29 September 2014.