Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles has formally opened Northrop Grumman’s refreshed aircraft maintenance centre in Brisbane.
The facility will provide support to the RAAF’s six KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and its fleet of 10 C-27J Spartans.
Australia currently has 10 Spartans operated by No. 35 Squadron from RAAF Base Amberley, which now focuses on peacetime operations such as search and rescue and aeromedical operations.
The RAAF initially bought the aircraft as a replacement for the Caribou to fit in between the Chinook and larger Hercules and C-17 Globemaster.
The KC-30A, meanwhile, serves as an air-to-air refuelling aircraft that also provides Australia with airlift capabilities. It was first flown by the RAAF in September 2011.
Northrop Grumman chief executive officer Kathy Warden and Asia-Pacific general manager Christine Zeitz also attended the event.
The facility conducts continuous through life support to key RAAF fleets and will engage an ongoing Northrop Grumman Australia workforce of around 100 employees, with the new infrastructure capacity now allowing for a significant expansion.
Deputy Premier Miles welcomed Northrop Grumman’s $20 million investment in the Brisbane Maintenance and Modification Centre (BMMC) modernisation project to create 300 local jobs and directly involve over 500 people.
“Queensland has cemented itself as a powerhouse for Australia’s Defence industry and our capabilities are quickly growing.
Two-thirds of the Australian Army operates out of Queensland, and this is just another feather in our cap,” he said.
“Northrop Grumman Australia’s facility here in Brisbane is just another great example of the close collaboration between Defence and Australian industry, supporting an important ADF capability, as well as providing significant investment and generating good, skilled jobs for the Queensland workforce.”
The facility will provide support and maintenance to the RAAF’s six KC-30A multi-role tanker transport aircraft.
“It’s been terrific to have the Deputy Premier open this strategically important facility, delivering sustainable support to the RAAF mission,” Christine Zeitz said.
“Our sustainment and modernisation program is a key element of our ongoing commitment and investment to the state.
“Northrop Grumman’s growing sustainment work at the BMMC has enabled us to establish an apprenticeship program providing a pipeline of skilled Queensland engineers underpinning the company’s ability to deliver advanced technology programs in the coming years.
“A world-class skilled local workforce with genuine and attractive career options, in partnership with the Queensland government, is a critical driver of future joint mission success.”