TAE Aerospace has purchased a former Masters building near Ipswich and will transform the site into a state-of-the-art aerospace facility, purpose-designed to optimise program outcomes for its Defence customer and give the company further room to grow.
Central to the move is the need to cater for significant new maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) work on the F135 engine of all F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft operating in the Asia-Pacific region.
F135 engine work is required to start in the first quarter of 2019, and TAE Aerospace has entered into an agreement with the Department of Defence to develop the facility to meet stringent requirements for the new engines.
As part of the agreement, TAE Aerospace will extend the building’s floorplan to also accommodate the F404, F414 and AGT1500 engine programs, its aerospace engineering team and an expanded advanced manufacturing capability.
Engine test cell facilities will remain at the company’s current headquarters at RAAF Base Amberley, because of noise levels.
TAE Aerospace CEO Andrew Sanderson said redevelopment works planned for the RAAF Base ruled out expanding existing facilities to cater for the volume of new work from the Asia-Pacific.
“A number of alternatives were considered, including greenfield sites, [but] buying an existing building rather than starting with a block of land has saved us six months of development time, and with the Masters building already designed and finished to a high standard, it stood out as the best option for us and our customer,” Mr Sanderson said.
“We have just signed an agreement with a local builder and now we are ready to start transforming this building into the most advanced military-engine MRO&U facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We have operated from the RAAF base since 2000 and achieved great outcomes there, but we have outgrown it now and having our workforce spread over multiple buildings is not ideal for productivity.
“As well as being together in one building, the Bundamba location is great for us. We are close to Ipswich where many of our people live, it brings us closer to the Brisbane CBD as well as the port for deliveries, and there is good access to public transport.”
TAE Aerospace is a 100% Australian-owned company that operates globally.