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The Hon Pat Conroy MP
Minister for Defence Industry
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Peta Donald - +61 435 521 326
1 March 2023
The Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Pat Conroy MP, has announced new opportunities for Australian defence industry companies to be involved in the production of advanced air capabilities.
The Australian Government has today signed an Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Deed for the Apache Program with the Boeing Company (US), solidifying commitments for Australia’s defence industry in the production of Australia’s aircraft.
Defence is preparing to deliver a fleet of 29 AH-64E Apache aircraft between 2025 and 2028, working with industry and the US Army to provide the armed reconnaissance capability to our Australian Army for the first time, under an acquisition worth $4.2 billion.
The Deed will underpin Australian industry contribution to the production of the Apache fleet, creating new opportunities, expected to bring millions of dollars to local defence industry companies.
These Apache helicopters will be equipped with some of the most advanced technologies, sensors and equipment, making them one of the most formidable helicopters for the Australian Defence Force.
These production opportunities set a foundation for longer term Australian industry support to the Apache program, enabling the growth of our rotary wing industry, and embedding Australian companies in global supply chains.
In another significant milestone for Australian defence industry, the number of Australian suppliers involved in building Australia’s uncrewed autonomous aircraft, the Ghost Bat, has increased by almost 60 per cent, from the first aircraft build.
The MQ-28 Ghost Bat program, which has global potential, is now backed by more than 55 Australian suppliers contributing to the autonomous capability, including small to medium sized enterprises.
Defence is acquiring ten Ghost Bats, for more than $600 million, as previously announced. The autonomous aircraft is the first Australian-designed, developed and manufactured military combat aircraft in half-a-century.
Minister Conroy made the announcements at the Australian International Air Show 2023 at Avalon, Victoria, where both the Apache and the Ghost Bat are on display for the Australian public – the Ghost Bat for the first time.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:
“The Albanese Government is ensuring that opportunities are maximised for Australian defence industry as we move to build the Defence capability our nation needs for its future security.”
“I was proud to attend the Avalon Airshow today as we work closely with defence industry to deliver critical capabilities in support of Australia’s national interests.
“It was fabulous to view a United States Army Apache helicopter and the Australian-manufactured Ghost Bat on display at the air show, and to see these proven and reliable capabilities that we are acquiring for our Defence Force.”
“The AH-64E Apache helicopter will be equipped with some of the most advanced technologies, sensors and equipment to make it one of the most formidable helicopters at our disposal.”
“It’s wonderful to see strong Australian industry involvement in producing the Ghost Bat – the first Australian-designed, developed and manufactured military combat aircraft in half a century.”
Media are able to access file footage of the Apache helicopter and Ghost Bat aircraft here:
Media will be able to access imagery from the recent Apache deck trials in Sydney here:
Media will be able to access imagery of the Australian Industry Capability Deed signing at Avalon 23 here: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20230333
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