Italian helicopter manufacturer Leonardo has now selected Fisherman’s Bend in inner Melbourne as the site for a helicopter repair and overhaul facility.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said the facility will be capable of servicing Australia’s Multi-Role Helicopter, Taipan, as well as foreign military and certain civil helicopter main gear boxes.
“The facility will commence operation in mid-2020 and employ at least 15 technical staff for 30 years or more, with 25 or so staff employed indirectly,” Minister Pyne said.
“I would like to congratulate Leonardo and their local subsidiary, Leonardo Australia, for committing to establish this strategically important regional centre of excellence.”
“Previously we had to send the gear boxes back to Italy for maintenance – now we’ll be able to do that work here, faster and cheaper, while transferring skills and know-how to Australian industry.”
The Federal Government is investing around $16 million in the facility, with a similar amount being committed by Leonardo.
This facility will be the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and will generate new opportunities for local defence industry in the regional aerospace market.
This project is a true win-win situation for both Defence and local defence industry, creating more defence industry jobs in Victoria and leading to greater helicopter availability for operations.