Australia’s Department of Defence will invest A$747m ($581m) to upgrade four key military training areas and weapon ranges in the Northern Territory (NT).

The four bases are Robertson Barracks, Kangaroo Flats, Mount Bundey and Bradshaw.

The investment in the defence bases will allow the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to carry out small and large-scale military drills and simulated training exercises.

It will enhance the ADF’s mission readiness to defend the country’s interests while supporting its Indo-Pacific neighbours and allies.

As outlined in the Defence White Paper, the base upgrades are part of the $6.2bn (A$8bn) capital infrastructure in the NT over the next ten years.

The investment will be released after securing necessary parliamentary approvals.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “This investment will deliver a jobs boom for the Northern Territory.

“We continue to invest more than A$270bn ($210bn) in defence capability across Australia over the next decade, ensuring we have a capable defence force to meet a changing global environment while backing thousands of ADF men and women with the newest technology and training.

“Working with the United States and our Indo-Pacific neighbours, we will continue to advance Australia’s interests by investing in the Australian Defence Force, particularly across Northern Australia.

“Our focus is on pursuing peace, stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific, with a world order that favours freedom.”

Defence Minister Peter Dutton said: “This investment is critical to ensuring that our ADF land combat capability is equipped with the cutting edge technology it will require to maintain our competitive advantage.

“These works will provide a strong economic benefit to the region, with significant opportunities for the local construction industry and local tradies over a five-year delivery phase programme.”

Dutton said that the investment would present ‘significant opportunities’ for local companies to bid for the construction works.

The works are planned to be delivered through numerous local sub-contractor packages by Darwin-based managing contractor, Sitzler.

Construction work on the upgrades is expected to start in the second half of this year, with completion expected by 2026.

Earlier this month, the government announced that up to $3.6m in contracts would be given to 12 small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the defence and cybersecurity sectors.

The contracts are part of Australia’s Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA), which was launched by Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price last August.