Wedgetail Through Life Support Contract

January 19, 2009 -- Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced the signing of a contract with the Boeing Company to provide five years of through life support services for the new Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fleet of Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEWC) aircraft.

“This contract will create more than 100 industry jobs in the Newcastle area. It will also provide continued and new employment for more than 100 personnel at Amberley over the next 12 months, which will have positive flow-on effects for local businesses,” Mr Combet said.

“The five year performance based contract is valued at $800 million and provides a comprehensive support arrangement.

“The contract links contractor profits directly to contractor performance, thereby promoting greater efficiency and delivering real cost savings.

“The contract aims to reduce costs into the future, providing value for money for Defence and the Australian taxpayer.

“As outlined in the Rudd Government’s White Paper the Wedgetail aircraft will provide vastly improved situational awareness and an ability to control and coordinate aircraft in the military environment.

“The Boeing Company will be supported by Boeing Defence Australia on maintenance, engineering and training. Northrop Grumman Corporation will provide support for their Multi-Role Electronically Scanned radar.

“As part of the contract, the industry team will deliver services including logistics, training, spares management, aircraft deeper maintenance, engineering and supply chain management,” Minister Combet said.

The Wedgetail aircraft are being delivered progressively to RAAF Base Williamtown. This contract will allow for the necessary infrastructure to be developed for the support of the Wedgetail Aircraft when they are formally accepted by the Commonwealth.


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