BAE Systems Australia has secured a pre-commitment to expand its presence at Newcastle Airport’s Defence estate, showing significant confidence in Astra Aerolab and the defence and aerospace industry at Williamtown, Newcastle.
BAE Systems, which employs around 5,000 people across Australia, has signed a 34-year extension on its current lease at Newcastle Airport and has also entered into a new pre-commitment for up to 4.4 hectares of land on Astra Aerolab – a defence and aerospace precinct, which offers airside access to RAAF Williamtown and Newcastle Airport.
The agreement will enable Astra Aerolab to provide a full range of property services, including future development of facilities on the pre-commitment land.
BAE Systems’ commitment and expansion at Astra Aerolab will propel the development of the world-class aerospace precinct, according to Dr Peter Cock, Newcastle Airport CEO.
“As Australia’s premier fast jet base, RAAF Base Williamtown is home to a vast majority of Australia’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters," Dr Cock said.
"BAE Systems Australia plays a key sustainment role in the Asia-Pacific region for the F-35 program and as such is looking to increase its presence and resources at Williamtown.
“The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated."
BAE Systems is set to deliver significant support for Australia’s F-35 fleet and this offers extensive opportunities for Australian industry, Andrew Gresham, managing director of defence delivery at BAE Systems Australia added.
“Astra Aerolab will facilitate the continued development of our capabilities and resources in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. There is an exciting future ahead for Williamtown,” Gresham said.
The announcement also signalled a significant milestone for the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct according to Paul Toole, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW.
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"It shows the confidence major players like Newcastle Airport and BAE Systems have in our vision to drive investment in regional NSW, generate more and better paying jobs and help to create a world-class defence and aerospace hub,” he said.
“This new footprint will allow the development of a bespoke facility adjacent to its current site that will see a significant expansion of BAE Systems’ world class local workforce."
“Their commitment to a future presence at Astra Aerolab is an important step in ensuring we continue to deliver on our promise of being uplifting by building a thriving, world leading defence and aerospace ecosystem at Williamtown."
Journalist – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Nastasha is a Journalist at Momentum Media, she reports extensively across veterans issues, cyber security and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific. Previously, she was a Content Producer at Verizon Media, a Digital Producer for Yahoo! 7 and Channel 7, a Digital Journalist at Sky News Australia, as well as a Website Manager and Digital Producer at SBS Australia. She started her career in media as a Video Producer and Digital News Presenter at News Corp Australia.