The Australian Department of Defence has awarded a $274m contract to Leighton Contractors to implement the RAAF Base Williamtown Redevelopment Stage Two Project in the Hunter region of New South Wales.

The Redevelopment Stage Two project involves construction of purpose-built facilities, critical infrastructure and essential service works, and upgrade of some existing facilities.

RAF Williamtown will eventually house 56 fifth generation stealth Joint Strike Fighters, being developed by Lockheed Martin under a contract with the US.

Among various works under Stage Two, the deteriorating roads, parking, water, sewage, electrical, fire and communications facilities will be improved, while vehicle entry and search facilities will be upgraded to address security shortfalls.

A five-storey office building will be built to accommodate approximately 950 personnel, and a new auditorium will have capacity for 250 personnel.

The high voltage system, central emergency power station and power control and monitoring system will be upgraded while the base sewage treatment plant will be demolished.

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A new northern entrance will be constructed as a hardened base entry point to operate continuously, while the existing southern entrance will be upgraded to provide additional security and access management during working hours.

Leighton Contractors will deliver the project in six years by 2021.

"Among various works under Stage Two, the deteriorating roads, parking, water, sewage, electrical, fire and communications facilities will be improved."

The base has completed Stage One Redevelopment in 2004, when a new precinct was included and some engineering services were upgraded.

The base then became home for Surveillance and Response Group for the new Airborne Early Warning and Control B737 aircraft of No 2 Squadron.

In the past, a major investment was made in the early 1980s with the introduction of the F/A 18 A/B (Classic Hornet). Subsequent investment occurred in 1992 for logistics and supply facilities on base and then in 1998 for the development of the on base Eastern Region Operations Centre.

Management consultancy Turner & Townsend Thinc is the project manager and contract administrator for Stage Two.

Image: A new five-storey building will accommodate approximately 950 personnel. Photo: courtesy of Leighton Contractors.