Tindal's security to be beefed up should it come under attack

The big spending on the Tindal RAAF Base would not go unnoticed by potential aggressors, a military expert said today.
The big spending on the Tindal RAAF Base would not go unnoticed by potential aggressors, a military expert said today.

There are plans to beef up the security of the Tindal RAAF Base should it come under attack in any future conflict.

The Federal Government unveiled its future military spending plans yesterday which also revealed Tindal was now key to Australia's defence strategy.

Tindal will host an operating squadron of the new Joint Strike Fighters and will also be the forward operating base of drone aircraft like the Triton.

With an extended runway it is also playing an increasing role in hosting US forces, including long-range bombers.

What was not highlighted yesterday with the release of two key Defence plans were the brief mentions on plans to make sure Tindal is able to keep operating in any conflict.

The plans briefly mention "infrastructure enhancements to improve the capability, capacity, and survivability of northern Australian air bases, to boost the resilience of Australian air power".

Defence experts today said that brief mention was solely directed at Tindal.

The Commonwealth Government has already spent about $1 billion with plans for almost $2 billion more at Tindal to become the "point of the spear" Prime Minister Scott Morrison has discussed.

The only other detail was for Defence to improve the base's survivability in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.

"Acquisition of equipment to decontaminate aircraft or an airbase in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack," was also detailed.

It does not provide any detail on how Tindal is to be better protected.

Just over 30 years, when the Tindal base was officially opened, the reasons for locating such a sizeable force outside Darwin was revealed.

Chief among them was the hard lessons learned in the bombing of Darwin in World War Two - it is better to keep your best military assets off the coast.

Sneak attacks of that sort are much more unlikely with hundreds of kilometres of the Top End to navigate and Tindal's powerful radar to give warning.

Tindal is close enough to RAAF Base Darwin to afford mutual protection, but far enough from the coast to be defensible and to avoid the effects of tropical cyclones.

This story Tindal RAAF Base security to be beefed up first appeared on Katherine Times.