A relationship that keeps growing
TAE Aerospace’s relationship with the RAAF began back in 2000 when we won the contract to provide support and repair services for the F-111 – then the mainstay of the RAAF’s strike fighter fleet.
This involved providing support via a number of repair workshops that handled processes such as electroplating, machining, welding and similar activities.
We expanded our range of activities in 2003 to operate the RAAF’s large aircraft repainting facility that looked after aircraft, such as the C-130 Hercules, AP-3C Orion and the Navy’s Seahawk helicopters.
In 2006, the success of this relationship was recognized when we took over the then F-111 Engine Business Unit that our operation supported. This enabled us to take over the maintenance of the F-111’s TF30 engines.
After two years, the relationship deepened and in 2008 it grew to include maintenance of the F404 engines in the RAAF’s fleet of F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.
With the Federal Government’s announcement that the RAAF would purchase F/A-18 Super Hornet and Growler aircraft to provide interim capability until the arrival of the fifth generation F-35, our work scope was increased to include the maintenance contract for both aircraft’s F414 engines in 2010.
With the arrival of the vaunted F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters, the relationship between the RAAF and TAE Aerospace reached new heights with us providing support for the F135 engines – the most powerful engine ever developed for a fighter jet – for the RAAF and other operators.
In August 2020, TAE Aerospace received further accolades when we, along with our OEM partner GE Aviation, won a contract to provide maintenance for selected parts for the US Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Growler aircraft.
The deal came after TAE Aerospace developed a number of innovations while providing support for the RAAF’s fleet of Hornets, Super Hornets and Growlers during the previous 11 years.
Under this arrangement, the first repaired product for the US Navy was completed in August 2020.
While providing support for the F-35 and other fighter jets is the more glamorous part of our RAAF work, TAE Aerospace also provides service for multiple other RAAF aircraft such as wheels and brakes on the KC-30A, C-130J and C-27J aircraft.
We also support the fire suppression systems F/A-18s, C-27J, C-17 and AP-3C Orion aircraft amongst other Defence platforms.
In another recent breakthrough, we are currently ramping up to support the Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 871 engines in the RAAF’s BAE Systems Hawk Lead in Fighter Trainers. This has only just begun with the first engines scheduled to arrive at our workshop in early 2021.
In total, TAE Aerospace now provides support for more than 70 percent of the RAAF’s platforms in a relationship that started small and has grown to deliver outstanding outcomes for both TAE Aerospace and the RAAF.