While Martin-Baker Australia's head office remained in Brisbane, the ejection seat manufacturer is undergoing rapid expansion this year with the commissioning of its first workshop at RAAF Base Pearce in support of the PC-21 Pilot Training System and now the addition of a full workshop at WAC.
Martin-Baker seats are used in the Royal Australian Air Force's PC-9 aircraft, PC-21 aircraft, Hawk LIFE, F/A-18A/B and F/A-18F jets, EA/18G Growlers and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Managing director of Martin-Baker Australia Andrew Eden said its set up at WAC makes it ideally placed to provide support for all its customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
"We have an obligation to support the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter from December 2018 at Williamtown. The WAC was the obvious choice for us as we needed space to support these and other customer maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade requirements. The F-35 and other platforms that use our products will be operating at RAAF Williamtown for the foreseeable future," Eden said.
"Williamtown Aerospace Centre will house our second workshop in Australia giving us full coverage for our customers on both east and west coasts. The workshops are commissioned with our newest support and test equipment that allow support of all our platforms in the region."
The New Zealand Defence Force also recently purchased T-6 Texan II, which also uses Martin-Baker ejection seats while Martin-Baker’s crashworthy seats are currently used in RAAF EC135 HATS and P-8A aircraft. Many civilian EMS operators also use the rotating and traversing or MFOS seats in AW139 helicopters.
Director of WAC, James Garvey, said the precinct is fast becoming an ideal destination for aerospace and defence technology companies seeking to expand into Australia and as a gateway to the Asian markets.
"We are excited to welcome ejection seat company Martin-Baker Australia to the Williamtown Aerospace Centre estate. Discussions with the UK parent company began as far back as 2009 with the introduction by the NSW government, the then Department of Industry. When local subsidiary Martin-Baker Australia was formed in 2015 those discussions led to a detailed look at the company’s requirements in the Williamtown area," Garvey said.
WAC enables organisations to be part of Australia's national and international aerospace and defence technology capability. Technology Place is located off the gateway to Newcastle Airport and Williamtown Drive, which is adjacent to Australia’s largest operating Air Force base, RAAF Williamtown and Newcastle Airport.