The companies have agreed to set up a sovereign MRO framework to bolster local support for the Royal Australian Air Force platforms.
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Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has announced the signing of a component repair framework contract with RUAG Australia (RUAG), aimed at enhancing Australia’s sovereign aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capability.
Specifically, RUAG has been tasked with supporting BDA’s Air Combat Electronic Attack Sustainment (ACEAS) program by undertaking intermediate-level repairs on an initial three components for F/A-18F and EA-18G Growler aircraft.
Components include the main and nose wheel hubs and a component from the environmental control system — currently repaired in the United States via the US Navy’s foreign military sale program.
BDA’s ACEAS program manager, Chris Gray, said the contract would build the resilience of Australia’s Super Hornet and Growler supply chains.
Gray added the deal would also support objectives of the AUSMIN Defence Acquisition Committee’s MRO Logistics Working Group, boosting work opportunities for local industry by demonstrating the capacity to “augment existing supply chains”.
The program manager went on to laud RUAG’s work in the MRO space, with the company recently securing accreditation to repair E-7A Wedgetail Air Cycle Machines.
“RUAG is a proven partner across many Boeing programs, and we’re excited at the potential for the ACEAS contract and Wedgetail accreditation to bolster their presence in international supply chains,” Gray said.
According to RUAG Australia’s general manager, Terry Miles, this latest contract would build on the 19-year industry partnership between the two companies.
“This is a significant achievement towards using in-country sovereign capability to support Boeing and the F/A-18F and EA-18G platforms for the Royal Australian Air Force,” Miles added.
Boeing Defence Australia is currently under contract to sustain the RAAF’s F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, C-17A Globemaster, P-8A Poseidon, E-7A Wedgetail, CH-47F Chinook, EC-135 training helicopter and future AH-64E Apache fleets.
The signing of the new contract comes just a month after Boeing announced the opening of a new distribution centre at Murarrie, near Brisbane Airport — the company’s largest aircraft spare parts and chemicals distribution centre in the Asia-Pacific region and three times larger than the company’s previous two Brisbane distribution facilities combined.
The facility has been designed to hold up to double the previous spare parts inventory and is purportedly capable of 15 times more freight each day direct to Brisbane, bypassing Melbourne.
This is tipped to accelerate deliveries to the commercial, business and general aviation, helicopter and defence markets.
The Boeing Brisbane Distribution Centre houses both the Brisbane operations of Boeing Distribution Australia Pty Ltd and Boeing Distribution Services Inc, which together, are expected to deliver platform agnostic integrated supply chain solutions.