Facilities at the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Butterworth Air Force Base (AFB) that are used by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are set to be upgraded as part of a long-standing commitment to regional security.
The Australian Department of Defence intends to invest $22m on the Butterworth AFB to ensure that the base is suitably upgraded and modernised for future purposes.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said: “ADF personnel have had a presence at Butterworth for 60 years and the investment reflects the ongoing importance of the base to Australia and Malaysia.
“Around 50 ADF personnel are hosted at RMAF Butterworth by Malaysia and this can increase to up to 350 during exercises.”
According to Payne, upgrades to the facilities at Malaysian Butterworth AFB will commence with a detailed assessment of the facility carried out in consultation with Malaysia.
Payne added: “It is fitting that we are able to agree to this investment as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Australia’s presence at the base this week.
“It represents a strong commitment to further strengthen the Australia-Malaysia defence partnership and our enduring ties.”
Australia has also committed to continue supporting the development of Malaysia’s Urban Combat Training facility. This will increase the number of defence scholarships offered to the country for study in Australia each year.
Furthermore, it will deliver additional F/A-18 spare parts to assist with the sustainment of Malaysia’s aircraft fleet.