The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo today announced that construction has commenced on the $24 million Engine Test Cell upgrade at RAAF Base Amberley in South East Queensland.
Minister Pyne said the upgraded Engine Test Cell will be used to support Australia’s brand new F-35A Joint Strike Fighter fleet as well as the existing Super Hornet engines.
“Defence contracted with TAE Aerospace, a 100% Australian owned company, who has now taken possession of the site and commenced work on the upgraded facility which will be able to cope with the increased 43,000lb thrust of the new F135 engine from the existing 20,000lb thrust of the F414 engine,” Minister Pyne said.
“This important work will ensure Australia’s F-35A fleet, and the global F-35 fleet, will have a highly capable Engine Test Cell facility in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“This is another important step in the Government’s goal for Australia to become the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter maintenance hub for the Asia-Pacific.”
Minister Ciobo congratulated TAE Aerospace and said that the work would provide opportunities for local industry.
“This is a terrific example of the strength of Australia’s defence industry, which has already won over $1.3 billion in production contracts as part of the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program,” Minister Ciobo said.
“The new Engine Test Cell work will also benefit the local Queensland economy, with TAE Aerospace entering into a contract with Paynters for the construction phase of the project.”
The global F-35 fleet is supported by a Global Support Solution that allows users to benefit from increased capability, availability and affordability through economies of scale, and improved interoperability and international cooperation.
For more information about the Australian F-35A Project, visit http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/AboutCASG/OurStructure/Air/JointStrikeFighterDivision/