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RAAF Base Edinburgh (ICAO: YPED) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military airbase located in Edinburgh, 25 km (16 mi) north of the centre of Adelaide, South Australia, in Australia

RAAF Base Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Adelaide, South Australia in Australia
RAAF Base Edinburgh YPED is located in South Australia
RAAF Base Edinburgh YPED
RAAF Base Edinburgh YPED
Location in South Australia
Coordinates34°42′09″S 138°37′15″E / 34.70250°S 138.62083°E / -34.70250; 138.62083Coordinates: 34°42′09″S 138°37′15″E / 34.70250°S 138.62083°E / -34.70250; 138.62083
TypeMilitary air base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
Operator Royal Australian Air Force
WebsiteRAAF Base Edinburgh
Site history
Built1955 (1955)
Garrison information
Airfield information
IdentifiersICAO: YPED
Elevation20 metres (67 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
04/22 1,962 metres (6,437 ft) Grass
18/36 2,560 metres (8,399 ft) Asphalt
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart[1]

The base is primarily home to No 92 Wing and their Lockheed AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft that conduct surveillance operations throughout Australia's region of interest. The Air Warfare Centre has subsumed the roles of AOSG and whilst it still conducts research and development on defence systems such as aircraft and weapons at the Woomera Test Range (WTR), it has expanded its role to address opportunities to improve Air Force’s ability to maximise the operational effectiveness of fifth-generation, networked capabilities through improved integration across Defence and increased knowledge sharing with allied AWCs.

Also after an extensive building program over the course of 2010–2011, RAAF Base Edinburgh is also become the home of 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, a regular infantry battalion of the Australian Army, 1st Armoured Regiment, 1st Combat Service Support Battalion and other smaller units. This has pushed the daily working population of RAAF Base Edinburgh beyond 4,500 from 6am-6pm.


RAAF Edinburgh was constructed in 1955 as a support base for weapons development at the joint UK-Australian Weapons Research Establishment (WRE) at Woomera. This support had previously been temporarily based at Mallala.[2] The base was located alongside the wartime Salisbury Explosives factory,[3] in open fields between the then country villages of Salisbury (to the south) and Smithfield (to the north). At about the same time, the satellite town of Elizabeth was being established (to the east).

Support for WRE testing activities had greatly reduced by the late 1960s. Edinburgh's major role changed in 1977 when No. 10 Reconnaissance Squadron was relocated to South Australia from RAAF Base Townsville, which had been the centre of Australia's maritime reconnaissance operations since the Second World War. RAAF Base Edinburgh has since been home to the RAAF's Maritime Patrol Group, as well as No 1 Recruit Training Unit, the Institute of Aviation Medicine (AVMED) and the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU).[4]

Originally, RAAF Edinburgh and the DSTO were located in Salisbury, (subsequently the suburb of Salisbury – Postcode 5108), in the City of Salisbury. In 1997, the Department of Defence decided to rationalise the then "DSTO Salisbury" site and sell off about 70% of the site, and surrounding "Defence-owned" Crown land, to form the "Edinburgh Parks" industrial estate. The suburb of Salisbury was split in two, with the part containing the RAAF Base and DSTO renamed "Edinburgh" (after the RAAF Base). The new suburb was assigned the Postcode 5111.

In 2017 it was announced that the main runway would be extended by 275 metres (902 ft) to enable it to be used by the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which are replacing the Lockheed AP-3C Orion fleet.[5]

Environmental contaminationEdit

In 2016 concerns were raised about perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in fire fighting foams at the base until 2004, being found in groundwater at the base and in nearby wetlands.[6][7] A 2014 report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency described PFOA and PFOS as emergent contaminants that are "extremely persistent in the environment and resistant to typical environmental degradation processes" and which consequently pose "potential adverse effects for the environment and human health" due to their toxicity, mobility, and ability to bioaccumulation.[8]

Current unitsEdit

Unit Full name Force Element Group Aircraft Notes
HQ92WG Headquarters No 92 Wing Surveillance and Response Group
453SQN DET EDN No. 453 Squadron Surveillance and Response Group Air traffic control
24SQN No. 24 (City of Adelaide) Squadron – Airbase support Combat Support Group
87SQN No. 87 Squadron – Air Intelligence Air Warfare Centre
292SQN No. 292 Squadron – Sensor operator training Surveillance and Response Group
HQ3SFSQN Headquarters No 3 Security Forces Squadron
1RSU No. 1 Remote Sensor Unit Surveillance and Response Group Jindalee Operational Radar Network
1EHS DET EDN No 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron Detachment Edinburgh
1CCS EDN FLT No 1 Combat Communication Squadron Flight Edinburgh
10SQN No. 10 Squadron Surveillance and Response Group AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft
11SQN No. 11 Squadron Surveillance and Response Group Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft
JEWOSU Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit Air Warfare Centre Information Warfare Directorate (TU 646.7.1)
RAAF AIS RAAF Aeronautical Information Service Air Warfare Centre
462SQN No. 462 Squadron – information security Air Warfare Centre
ARDU Aircraft Research and Development Unit Air Warfare Centre Development and Test Wing (DTWG)
ASE SQN ARDU Systems Engineering Squadron Air Warfare Centre
ASCENG Aircraft/Stores Compatibility Engineering Agency Air Warfare Centre
AVMED Institute of Aviation Medicine Air Warfare Centre
HQWTR Headquarters Woomera Test Range Air Warfare Centre Woomera Test Range (TU 646.7.3)
WTROPS WTR Range Operations Branch Air Warfare Centre
WRA RAAF Base Woomera Air Warfare Centre
WPA Woomera Prohibited Area Air Warfare Centre
WTRENG WTR Range Engineering Branch Air Warfare Centre
7RAR 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Australian Army
1ARMD REGT 1st Armoured Regiment Australian Army
AEC–CW Army Education Centre – Central West Australian Army

The main aircraft type operating from Edinburgh is the AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and its replacement the P-8A Poseidon. However, the base has recently (2006–2011) undergone a massive upgrade to accommodate 7RAR and supporting army units.

Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU)Edit

The Aircraft Research and Development Unit, first established in 1944, is now a subunit of the AWC. Based at RAAF Edinburgh, ARDU provides specialist Australian Defence Force aerospace testing and evaluation of new weapons and aircraft into the RAAF and ADF arsenal.

RAAF Woomera Range Complex (WRC)Edit

The WRC is the Western world's largest defence systems test range complex and is an Australian icon. The land area of the range complex covers 127,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) (roughly the size of England or the US State of Florida). It is controlled by HQWTR located at RAAF Edinburgh, but is supported directly from Woomera Village. The range complex is approximately 460 km (290 mi) north-west of Adelaide.

7th Battalion, Royal Australian RegimentEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ YPED – Edinburgh (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 15 August 2019, Aeronautical Chart[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Mallala". RAAF Museum. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ The wartime Salisbury Explosives factory became the Long Range Weapons Establishment, subsequently the Weapons Research Establishment (WRE), the Defence Research Centre, Salisbury (DRCS), and now, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).
  4. ^ "Edinburgh". RAAF Museum. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ Rohweder, Sarah (13 July 2017). "Part of Penfield Road in Adelaide to be closed off so runway at RAAF Base Edinburgh can be extended". The Advertiser. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  6. ^ Shepherd, Tory (15 June 2016). "Turnbull pledges blood tests for RAAF base toxic leak amid Defence probe". The Advertiser. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  7. ^ Henson, Elizabeth (13 October 2016). "Defence Department holds public meeting to inform residents in Adelaide's north about its inquiry into cancer-causing toxins at the Edinburgh RAAF base". The Advertiser. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  8. ^ Emerging Contaminants Fact Sheet – Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). National Service Center for Environmental Publications (Report). United States Environmental Protection Agency. March 2014. p. 1. 505-F-14-001. Retrieved 10 February 2019.

External linksEdit