The head of Airbus in Australia, Tony Fraser, AO, CSC, is to be the new head of the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) in the Department of Defence.
Fraser, a pilot and former head of Army Aviation, replaces Kim Gillis who came to CASG after heading Boeing Defence Australia.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo welcomed Fraser, who will lead CASG at a time of unprecedented investment in Australian Defence capability.
Minister Pyne said Fraser had a substantial background in defence capability, equipment acquisition and sustainment.
“Mr Fraser will bring his extensive experience working at senior levels in the commercial sector and the Australian Defence Force to the role,” he said.
“Mr Fraser has a strong understanding of the capability needs of the Australian Defence Force having completed 34 years of service in the Australian Regular Army, culminating in senior military appointments within the then Defence Materiel Organisation.”
Minister Ciobo said Fraser, current Airbus head of country for Australia and New Zealand, returned to public service at a significant time.
“Mr Fraser will be responsible for delivering the government’s $200 billion investment in Australia’s future Defence capability,” he said.
“This investment will secure Australia’s long-term security, generate thousands of jobs for skilled Australians and many opportunities for Australian industry.”
Fraser starts work in November.
Ministers Pyne and Ciobo also thanked Gillis, the outgoing Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment.
“I pay tribute to Mr Gillis, who has been instrumental in a number of projects of national significance such as our amphibious ships, the future submarines, offshore patrol vessels, combat reconnaissance vehicles and future frigates,” Minister Pyne said.
Minister Ciobo added, “He has led major reforms of the acquisition function in Defence, in particular the adoption of Smart Buyer and the new Capability Life Cycle in Defence.”
In a lengthy military career, Fraser notched up 5,500 flying hours, mostly on helicopters.
He has served in the UK, Middle East, Canada and the US, and reached the rank of Major General.
Fraser led the team assisting David Mortimer in his review of the then Defence Materiel Organisation and also served in senior positions within Defence acquisition before going to Airbus.
Before heading CASG, Gillis was vice president and managing director of Boeing Defence Australia, running all Boeing Defence Australia businesses and functions at the organisation’s sites across Australia.
Before that, he worked as Boeing Defence Australia’s chief operating officer, overseeing the organisation’s day-to-day operations, alignment and integration with Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and compliance and governance.
He served as general manager systems for the Defence Materiel Organisation, leading the reform agenda.
He also worked for the Austal Group, leading the capture team for the US Navy Littoral Combat Ship, the Joint High Speed Vessel Program, and the Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class patrol boat fleet.