Boeing has handed a Victorian business that employs just eight people a $1.3 million sub-contract to design safety stands used to maintain the RAAF’s F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers.
Air Fab specialises in aluminium fabrication and mostly produce light, flat-packed physical platforms that can be easily transported.
They have previously worked with Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar and the RAAF directly and have been described by Immigration Minister, and federal member for Aston, Alan Tudge as a “local success story”.
According to Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, the safety stands would provide enhanced fall protection for Air Force and Boeing personnel when conducting maintenance on top of, and around, the aircraft.
“Using their unique manufacturing capability, Air Fab will build five sets of aircraft equipment from its facility in Ferntree Gully,” Minister Reynolds said.
“With eight employees, Air Fab is an excellent example of the ingenuity of Australian small business in helping not only keep our personnel safe, but in helping to get Australia’s frontline fighter aircraft back into the air quicker.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price noted the strength of Defence’s relationship with Boeing Defence Australia, which has partnered with the company since 2016 for the sustainment of the Air Force’s 24 F/A-18F Super Hornet and 11 EA-18G Growler aircraft.
“BDA must be congratulated for its commitment to identifying opportunities to improve our sovereign capabilities and expand the use of Australian industry in supporting our aircraft,” Minister Price added.
“They continue to grow the number of local SMEs in their supply chain and identify new opportunities for them to contribute to the strength and success of our defence industry.”
Minister Tudge said Air Fab’s new contract would benefit both the community and the manufacturing industry in Knox, Victoria.
“Air Fab is just another example of the amazing manufacturers that we have here in Knox,” he said.
“They are delivering local jobs while exporting advanced manufacturing to service a global market.
“More investment in Knox businesses is always good news for our community.”