Construction firm Abigroup has secured a national Defence contract to retrofit RAAF airbases around Australia to accommodate the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.


Abigroup has been awarded the contract for the planning phase of the New Air Combat Capability (NACC) facilities two phase project which involves a combination of new and refurbished facilities on 10 Defence sites around Australia as the new Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lightning II jets are phased in.


The bulk of the work is proposed to occur at RAAF Bases Williamtown, north of Newcastle, and Tindal, in the Northern Territory.


Additional work is proposed for eight other RAAF bases located at Townsville, Amberley and Scherger on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Learmonth, Curtin and Pearce in Western Australia, Edinburgh, north of Adelaide, and Darwin.


The contract will be carried out in two phases. The first phase - the planning phase - which has just been awarded and will last two years - consists of the preliminary design and costing of the project.


The second phase – which will last six years and is subject to final Federal Government confirmation and Parliamentary approval - is scheduled to commence in mid 2013 and will consist of finalisation of the design and then construction of the works.