Boeing Defence Australia opens new test facility south of Brisbane

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 29, 2019
Boeing Defence Australia has opened a new facility in Queensland that will work on Project Currawong. (Boeing)
Boeing Defence Australia has opened a new facility in Queensland that will work on Project Currawong. (Boeing)

Boeing Defence Australia has opened a new defence test facility at Wacol south of Brisbane.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price helped cut the ribbon on the new facility on Monday.

Boeing Defence Australia said in a statement the “ground-breaking environmental and electromagnetic test facility” would enable all the design, development, testing and assembly work for its battlespace communication system, known as Project Currawong, to be completed locally.

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“To date, we have delivered ahead of schedule on all components of this complex system,” Project Currawong program director Ian Vett said in a statement on Monday.

“The opening of this facility strengthens our agile development capability even further.”

Boeing Defence Australia said the site had chambers which simulated severe environmental conditions such as extreme heat and cold, sand and dust, and salt and altitude on the physical and operational performance of equipment.

Further, there was an Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI/EMC) chamber to eliminate radio interference during testing.

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And there were also areas to assemble, integrate and store equipment including building trailer and vehicle-mounted capability, Boeing Defence Australia said.

While it was currently focused on Project Currawong, the 7,500sqm facility had the potential to work on other programs in the broader defence industry.

“Our supply chain will also have access to this state-of-the-art equipment in line with our commitment to continuing to build Australia’s sovereign defence capability,” Vett said.

“In practical terms, this means deployed forces can effectively communicate with each other and headquarters in conditions ranging from deep snow to harsh desert environments, and that the equipment will be robust enough to operate from sea level to high altitudes.”

Project Currawong is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Project LAND 2072 Phase 2B to replace mobile communications and computer networks for the Army, parts of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Navy.

The Battlespace Communications System project achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in April 2018.

Price said the opening of the Boeing Defence Australia site at Wacol represented a significant investment in Australia’s defence industry.

“I congratulate Defence and Boeing for delivering world leading technology that is agile in meeting war fighting requirements, ahead of schedule,” Price said in a statement.

“I’m encouraged to see Boeing employ 210 people here in Brisbane and work with more than 200 small businesses in the production and supply of components.”

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