SHAH ALAM: Oz to redevelop RMAF Butterworth. Australia is planning to redevelop RMAF Butterworth airbase in Penang under an AUS$60 million to AUS$70 million budget. (RM218 million using the higher amount)
The RMAF Butterworth Infrastructure Project aims to further strengthen Australia and Malaysia’s strong and long-standing Defence relationship through the provision of infrastructure at RMAF Base Butterworth by way of foreign assistance. Investment in infrastructure demonstrates Australia’s commitment to the bi-lateral relationship with Malaysia.
The Project aims are to:
re-develop existing Malaysian Facilities which have shared use between stakeholders including Australian Defence Force, the Malaysian Ministery of Defence and the Malaysian Armed Forces; and
conduct service refresh works on Australian-leased facilities to enhance RMAF Base Butterworth’s capability.
Specifically, the Project will seek to achieve the following outcomes:
provide upgrades to increase capacity, condition and compliance of the Australian leased facilities to align with the growing operational and Australian Defence Force engineering services requirements;
provide upgrades for redeveloping the Malaysian facilities to increase the condition, capacity and compliance with the existing and future Malaysian Ministry of Defence requirements;
advance cooperation and relationships between Australian and Malaysian Governments through investment and ongoing joint operations; enhancing the capabilities and capacity of our regional partners by strengthening resilience against nature disasters and other non-traditional security threats; and delivering quality infrastructure that meets the requirements and priorities of Malaysia by promoting sustainable development and connectivity.
According to the ADM report, the work will be extensive and it is likely the two fighter squadrons there, namely No 18 Skuadron and the No. 15 Skuadron will have to move out for the duration of the upgrading work. It must be noted back in 2018, the Australian government announced an AUS$22 million funding also to upgrade the facilities used by its forces at Butterworth. Apart from RAAF, the Australian Army has a more or less permanent detachment at the airbase, the Butterworth Company.
It is likely that upgrading is part of the on-going Malaysia-Australia Defence programme. Last May, under the programme, Australia awarded a Malaysian company, Armourseal, a contract to replace the windows of the air control tower.
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