Australian business TAE Aerospace has significantly increased its share of maintenance work on the F414 engines that power the Air Force’s F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.
Officer in Command Air Combat Electronic Attack System Program Office Group Captain Adam Spinks said TAE Aerospace had increased its proportion of deeper maintenance work from 25 per cent to 85 per cent in five years.
“This is a remarkable achievement for an innovative local business and acknowledges the industry capability that exists across the country,” Group Captain Spinks said.
“TAE Aerospace is a partner to General Electric International Incorporated (GEII) and holds additional contracts to maintain the engines for the M1 Abram tanks and F-35A Lightning II aircraft.”
Group Captain Spinks said TAE Aerospace had been innovative in the maintenance of the F414 engines, developing repairs for components which otherwise would have been thrown away when they failed.
He said this led to reduced costs and improved engine availability for Air Force.
“The repairs, as well as the ingenuity displayed by TAE, shows how much Australian industry has to offer the ADF, but also Australia’s allies,” he said.
TAE Aerospace has 220 employees at several sites across Australia.
TAE Aerospace chief executive officer Andrew Sanderson said the expansion of the company’s F414 engine maintenance capability was a significant milestone.
This is the first time Australian industry has supported the US Navy engine fleet.
Mr Sanderson said the company’s expansion of its F414 works was timely considering the withdrawal of the F404 engines for the F/A-18 and A/B fleets.
“We’ve been working in partnership with GE for more than 11 years now on support contracts for both aircraft engines right here in Australia,” Mr Sanderson said.
“Building on this strong relationship, the opportunity to now commence F414 engine component repair work in support of the US Navy is a significant step for us.
“We are now be able to export our repair know-how, skills and quality of support to the US Navy, which demonstrates our capabilities as a global aerospace engine maintenance provider.”
He said TAE Aerospace would employ up to 10 new staff to conduct the new work and prepare for future opportunities.