TAE chief executive Andrew Sanderson has flagged how a strategy to build and enhance the firm’s engineering and maintenance skills has seen it winning key contracts – with the Joint Strike Fighter maintenance deal just around the corner.
Sanderson told Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant that a concerted effort to bolster the company’s type-specific training initiatives had been crucial in this process.
He said that once a maintenance team possessed the hand skills to look after a turbine engine – which spin around 16,000 rpm – the tolerances remain the same.
“The tank engine spins at 43,000 rpm,” Sanderson added.
“[But] the way you build them is all the same. It's just knowing sizes and scales … as applied to a particular engine type.
“So we can certainly leverage the experience we had ... into the Hornets, into the tanks and Super Hornets. And what's exciting in 18 month's time is [we’ll apply that to] the engine of the Joint Strike Fighter as well.”
Finally, the TAE CEO said the company had been awarded the maintenance contract for the Joint Strike Fighter engine – the F-35 – for the next 20-40 years.
“For the whole of Asia-Pacific, so that’s Japan, Korea and Australia and also the US forces in the region,” Sanderson said. “So our first work we anticipate coming from the US Marine Corps out of Okinawa in Japan.”