Boeing Australia has selected Toowoomba, Queensland as the preferred site for the final assembly facility of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (also known as the Loyal Wingman). The UAS (unmanned aerial system) is the first military combat aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in Australia in half a century.
Boeing Australia will establish the facility in the Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct at Wellcamp Airport to produce and assemble the UAS, which is designed to operate as a team with other aircraft, using artificial intelligence to extend their capabilities. The project delivers on the vision of the Queensland Defence Industries 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan, which aims to significantly increase defence revenue and generate 3,500 new full-time jobs by 2028.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier, commented: “In choosing Wellcamp Airport, Boeing have taken an important step towards delivering their purpose-built final assembly facility. This has the potential to greatly improve our state’s advanced manufacturing capability and help shape a workforce of Queenslanders with the skills to build some of the world’s most cutting-edge aircraft.”
Cameron Dick, Treasurer and Minister for Investment, said: “This announcement follows our success with Australia’s first commercial drone flight testing facility at Cloncurry Airport last December, of which Boeing was a first user. It’s the result of an arrangement our government entered into with Boeing Australia last year to support the establishment of the primary final assembly facility for the Boeing Loyal Wingman here in Queensland, subject to defence orders. It’s expected the project could generate up to $1 billion dollars for Queensland’s economy over 10 years, with more than just defence industries to benefit.”
Scott Carpendale, Vice President and Managing Director of Boeing Defence Australia, believes the selection of Wellcamp Airport as Boeing’s preferred location for the company’s first final assembly production facility is indicative of Boeing’s global focus and support for Australia’s sovereign defence capability growth, supply chain and export opportunities.
“We are confident in the future production outlook for this world-class, innovative aircraft. We’re thinking long-term about this investment, which could assist Australia to gain future work share in other global defence and aerospace opportunities, in addition to the Loyal Wingman assembly.”
“The Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct location is attractive due to its access to a flight line, clear flying days, commercial flight access from major cities and ability to support the rapid pace at which the Airpower Teaming System program is growing. Sustainable aerospace is a critical focus for Boeing, and Wagner Corporation’s use of sustainable construction methods supports our vision to create a leading sustainable aerospace manufacturing facility from the ground up, including renewable technologies and human-centric design.”