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Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Page: 4550


Mr LINDSAY (9:47 AM) —Today I want to talk about a very impressive Australian company: Boeing Australia. Recently I was able to visit Boeing Australia at RAAF Amberley, where they have a very significant investment. They have 13½ thousand square metres of hangar space, 34,000 square metres of workshop space, 8,000 square metres of warehouse and 710 Australians working in that complex. It is a magnificent complex, a magnificent operation on the RAAF base.

The kinds of capabilities that Boeing add to Australia’s defence are things like program, project and contract management; avionics design; electrical and structural airframe design and repair; an aircraft design drawing office; systems and software engineering; fleet modification and aircraft maintenance; aircraft prototype integration; weapons integration; kit and wire harness production and fabrication; ground tests, EMI, EMC and flight tests; mission and laboratory simulation; life support; cold proof load testing; fuel tank repair; aircraft and surface finishing; non-destructive testing; hydraulics component maintenance; structures and bonded repair; wing and flight control maintenance; logistics, materials and process management; configuration, data and publications management; training course development; spares and supply chain management; and of course reliability, maintainability and supportability. That is a terrific CV for a company with a large workforce at RAAF Amberley, adding to our capability in the Australian Defence Force.

I particularly want to recognise the team at Boeing who are working on the AEW&C Wedgetail modification program. In this program, 737 aircraft arrive from the United States as green aircraft. They are quite literally green. They are a shell of a 737. The people in the AEW&C program then proceed to remove large sections of the aircraft and install all of the electronics, hardware and software that go with the capability that this new AEW&C aircraft will provide to the Australian Defence Force. It is truly amazing that about 100,000 hours are spent here in Australia modifying the 737s, and it is Australians who do it. They are as good as anybody in the world in this most complex, technical, state-of-the-art technology that is being installed in this aircraft. That group have established the capability and infrastructure necessary to perform the modifications. As Australians we can be mighty proud of what we can do in staying up with the rest of the world in leading-edge technology.