Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston says a $901 million dollar Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control support contract unveiled today spells job security for hundreds of Australian workers.
Senator Johnston said the support contract extension, signed by the Defence Materiel Organisation, will be undertaken by Boeing Defence Australia and will ensure long-term value for money sustainment services for Defence.
The contract covers the sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s E-7A Wedgetail fleet, including engineering and maintenance support, repairs, spare parts and aircrew and maintenance training for the Wedgetail fleet.
“The extension ensures efficient and cost-effective sustainment support, and is also testament to the effective build-up by Australian industry of E-7A Wedgetail operating, maintaining and engineering knowledge,” Senator Johnston said.
“This is a significant outcome for the Wedgetail program and for the 290 industry staff employed directly on Wedgetail support in the Newcastle, Brisbane/Ipswich and Adelaide regions.
“Extending this contract maintains Australian industry’s involvement and leadership in the sustainment of the Wedgetail capability.”
The E-7A Wedgetail represents an advanced and entirely new capability for the Australian Defence Force, providing a platform that gathers information from a wide variety of sources analyses it and distributes it to other aircraft and surface assets.
Of the $901 million, $433 million is being spent in Australia, $275m in Newcastle, $80m for Brisbane and Ipswich and $78m for Adelaide.
The Airborne Early Warning and Control capability operated by 2 Squadron at RAAF Williamtown consists of six E-7A Wedgetail aircraft, a full flight simulator, an operational mission simulator, a software development and test laboratory and maintenance facilities.