Australian Aerospace has plans for a $15 million state-of-the-art composite fibre manufacturing plant in Queensland, creating more than 60 new jobs and bringing the latest helicopter technology to Australia.
Initially the facility will produce key fuselage parts and fittings for the Tiger and for the current and future MRH90 military helicopter orders which should ensure sustainability of the activity, as well as carrying out maintenance and repairs.
New staff will be trained by European experts in the latest corrosion-free composite material technology for the Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter and the medium-lift MRH90, which are being built by Australian Aerospace at its Asia-Pacific Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. The new facility also will manufacture parts for the global supply chain and worldwide production of the Tiger and the NH90, the European version of the MRH90.
In the future, the plant will be capable of producing structural parts for other aerospace platforms. Negotiations are now taking place on the site for the new factory, which is expected to start operating by the end of 2007.
Australian Aerospace CEO, Joseph Saporito, said the new manufacturing facility is further evidence of the company’s determination to expand the Australian helicopter industry. “Australian Aerospace is committed to creating a long-term capability to manufacture, maintain and repair composite materials in Australia,” he said. “With the introduction of these state-of-the-art helicopters, it’s critical to the Tiger and MRH90 programs that we have the skills and equipment in the latest composite technology here – and it’s vital to the future of the helicopter industry in this country.”
“And we expect this new facility to be the catalyst for other spin-off industries – it provides an ideal opportunity to create associated research and development programs for the Australian market and potentially for export as well,” he said.
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