$600 Million Contract Secures Local Jobs and Keeps Australians Safe

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The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

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Karlis Salna - +61 435 521 326

Defence Media

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6 January 2024

More than 350 local Queensland jobs will be secured under a new $600 million contract to sustain and upgrade the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleets for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The five-year contract extension, awarded to Boeing Defence Australia, will see support for the Super Hornet and Growler programs continue until 2030, ensuring the long-term retention of a highly skilled expert workforce at RAAF Base Amberley.

Australians working in the Defence industry will oversee the engineering, maintenance and project management for the sustainment and upgrade of the fleets.

The Albanese Government is firmly committed to supporting Australia’s Defence industry and workforce. Importantly, more than 90 per cent of the contract value will be spent in Australia, and primarily in south-east Queensland.

The Air Combat and Electronic Attack Sustainment Contract with Boeing Defence Australia commenced on 1 July 2016 for an initial period of 5 years. This is the second contract extension, taking the overall contract value to $1.2 billion.

The contract extension comes as the EA-18G Growler Airborne Electronic Attack capability reaches final operational capability.

Operated by No. 6 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley, the Airborne Electronic Attack capability is comprised of 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft, the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System and the AGM-88 series of anti-radiation missiles.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“The Albanese Government knows the most valuable Defence asset we have are our people. That’s why we’re investing in over 350 highly skilled local jobs and delivering on our commitment to ensure Australia has a robust Defence industry.

“In a time of escalating global tensions, maintaining top-tier aircraft and a highly skilled local workforce is paramount. This contract extension fortifies our preparedness for any potential challenges.

“A strong Defence industry is also crucial to protecting Australians and their interests, as well as contributing to regional stability.

“I commend Boeing Defence Australia and all Defence industry partners involved with the maintenance and sustainment of the Super Hornet and Growler fleets.”

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