Boeing will partner with the Queensland Government to establish a production facility for the assembly of its new unmanned defence aircraft.
This will be the first time Boeing has designed and developed its military aircraft outside of the US.
The new defence aircraft uses artificial intelligence to extend the capabilities of manned and unmanned platforms.
Announcing the new partnership this week, QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new facility could see unmanned defence aircraft produced in the Sunshine State by the middle of the decade.
And prototype testing and certification will take place before that,” the Premier said.
The first aircraft prototype, called the Loyal Wingman, was unveiled with the Royal Australian Air Force in May this year.
QLD Treasurer Cameron Dick said the Boeing partnership demonstrated the Palaszczuk government’s commitment to advanced manufacturing.
“Manufacturing is a vital part of the Queensland economy, which is why supporting manufacturing is one of the centrepieces of our Unite and Recover Economic Recovery Plan,” the Treasurer said.
Project to create highly skilled jobs
“Our government’s longstanding commitment to advanced manufacturing is one of the reasons Queensland is already home to Boeing’s largest workforce outside the United States.”
Boeing has 1,700 staff in Queensland and supports 400 Queensland-based suppliers.
Mr Dick said the new project would create more highly skilled advanced manufacturing jobs, further reinforcing Queensland’s status as a centre for defence industries.
“It was precisely to attract projects like this that the Palaszczuk government developed our 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan for Defence Industries,” he said.
“Our investment in this advanced manufacturing project will provide critical skills for suppliers, academia and Boeing, and culminate in Queensland becoming the primary final assembly facility for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, conditional on orders.
“Supporting this project is a significant investment in the Queensland defence and manufacturing industries and will strengthen ties between Australia and the global defence market.”
Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific President Brendan Nelson said the partnership with the Queensland government to develop an advanced manufacturing capability was a significant milestone for the company.
“It’s one that will build cutting-edge skills to stimulate the innovation ecosystem in Queensland,” he said.
“This includes introducing technologies such as advanced robotics; investment in universities, small-to-medium enterprises and start-up companies; as well as creating global export opportunities for Australia’s supply chain.
“This investment could unlock global defence and aerospace opportunities for Queensland to gain future work share in other Boeing programs.”
For more information about the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, visit https://www.boeing.com/defense/airpower-teaming-system/.