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Wednesday, 13 May 1981
Page: 2378

(Question No. 1066)


Mr Hurford asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice, on 7 April 1981:

(1) What is the present status of the Nomad aircraft program

(2) When will the current authorised production cease.

(3) Will the Government approve further production of the Nomad, in view of the deferral of the Tactical Fighter replacement decision.

(4) Are programs for the development of other aircraft types for production in Australia currently being undertaken; if so, what are the prospects for each of these types being brought into production.


Sir Phillip Lynch —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) On 15 December 1980 I announced that the Government had approved production of a further 55 Nomad aircraft, bringing the total number of aircraft authorised to date to 200. As at 30 April 1981, 128 Nomad aircraft had been ordered and of these 105 had been delivered.

(2) Production of the 200th Nomad aircraft is scheduled for completion in June 1984.

(3) Production authorisations beyond aircraft 200 will be considered by the Government at the appropriate time.

(4) There is a requirement to replace the RAAF basic pilot training aircraft (the CT-4 Airtrainer) and the advanced pilot training jet aircraft (the Macchi 326H) used by both RAN and RAAF. A Government-funded study by the Australian aircraft industry into the feasibility of designing and developing replacement aircraft locally has been completed. Principal recommendations are that local industry undertake the design, development, manufacture, sale and support of a basic trainer, and that for the advanced trainer, now required in a later time frame, discussions continue with selected overseas companies on the various possibilities for collaboration. The project definition phase of the basic trainer project commenced in July 1980 and subject to satisfactory progress and further Government approvals the aircraft should enter production. Further studies are being carried out to examine possible collaborative programs for the advanced trainer aircraft.