How an aerospace company came to work on tank engines…
In 2013, TAE Aerospace signed an agreement to undertake triage maintenance activities to repair 22 of the AGT1500 engines that power the Abrams Main Battle Tank for the Australian Army. The success of this initial activity transitioned to a long-term Total Logistics Support (TLS) contract for the engine in 2015.
At the time it was considered unusual for an aerospace company to work on a tank engine. However, the gas-turbine engines that drive the Abrams tanks operate in a similar way to those that power fast jets and helicopters. Our leadership team knew the skillsets were transferable, and the benefits to the Army’s program were clear from the start.
Previously, Army sent their AGT1500 engines to a US Army depot for maintenance and could wait up to 12 months for their return. The long turnaround, together with the associated shipping costs, made a local provider an appealing choice. Our ability to triage the first 22 engines allowed Army to regain capability at a significantly reduced cost and faster turn time.
Choosing an Australian-based company has continued to deliver significant benefits in responsiveness, cost and turn times for Army. Plus, choosing an aerospace company that operates to the highest quality standards helps keep their Main Battle Tanks flying along fast!
As the relationship grew, we looked beyond TLS towards even more integrated solutions that improve performance and reduce costs over the life cycle of the engine.
Through our strong relationships with multiple OEMs and our consultative approach to working with Defence, we developed turn-key gas turbine engine solutions that span the breadth of the MRO value chain. By 2016, the range of services we could offer Army had grown to include: health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), condition monitoring services, design engineering, deeper maintenance, piece part repair and material support.
As we continued to strengthen our support for Army, we were proud to be nominated for the prestigious Essington Lewis Award in 2017.
The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), who nominated us for the award, cited the strong working relationship and spirit of collaboration as reasons behind the honour.
At the annual Defence and Industry Gala Dinner that year we were delighted to be announced winner of an Essington Lewis Award for the Land 907-1 Tank Replacement Project – AGT1500 engines.
Growing our service offer to Army
In 2018, we further expanded our offer to Army and other customers by acquiring the operations of Kidde Aerospace and Defence Australia Pty Ltd (KADA). In doing so we became the Collins Aerospace authorised representative for Kidde fire protection and equipment and other Collins Aerospace OEM products throughout much of Asia-Pacific.
As the region’s only Collins Aerospace approved overhaul facility, we support fire protection systems on every vehicle within the Australian Army that has such a system fitted. This includes, the M1A1, ASLAV, M88A2, Bushmaster, Hawkei and in the future, the Boxer CRV.
Expanding our facilities and services further in 2019, we added engine fuel control and oil system maintenance to the range of services we provide the Australian Army. We also provide these services to the US military from our facility in Texas.
Our industry workforce is proud to support Australia’s Defence Forces, now in 2020 and into the future.
Together, we’re an unstoppable force.