In an arrangement believed to be the first of its kind outside the United States, Ipswich based TAE Aerospace, along with GE Aviation, will provide maintenance for selected engine parts for the US Navy’s F/A 18 Super Hornets and Growlers.
The deal comes after TAE Aerospace developed two innovations while providing support for the RAAF’s fleet of F/A 18 Hornets and Super Hornets over the past 11 years.
The innovations involve the engine’s Afterburner and Exhaust components where TAE Aerospace developed techniques that allow the parts to be repaired rather than replaced, while delivering the same performance at significantly lower cost.
The arrangement is timely given the United States focus on the Indo-Pacific region, including the recent deployment of two US Navy aircraft carrier fleets, that carry the Super Hornets and Growlers, as part of its Freedom of Navigation exercises.
According to TAE Aerospace’s CEO, Andrew Sanderson, the deal recognises the high levels of innovative support provided by TAE Aerospace to the RAAF’s fleets of F 111s, F/A 18 Classic and Super Hornets and the new F35 Joint Strike Fighters.
“We’ve overachieved against most of our performance targets for the RAAF over the years and this reputation has played a major role in securing the agreement with the US Navy,” Mr Sanderson said.
“It is a welcome boost to the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic and will create up to 10 new jobs at our Ipswich facility.”
Under this arrangement, the first repaired product for the F/A 18 Super Hornet and Growler F414 engines has already been produced at the new TAE Aerospace facility in Australia.