• A RAAF F/A-18 Super Hornet at Avalon Air Show 2017. Credit: Defence
    A RAAF F/A-18 Super Hornet at Avalon Air Show 2017. Credit: Defence

A Victorian small business will build the aircraft safety stands used in the maintenance of Air Force’s F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growler aircraft.

Air Fab has been awarded a $1.3 million contract with Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) for the design, fabrication and supply of the safety stands.

The Australian-owned business specialises in engineering and fabrication aluminium of access platforms for the aircraft and transport industries.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the safety stands will provide enhanced fall protection for Air Force and Boeing personnel when conducting maintenance on top of, and around, the aircraft.

“Using their unique manufacturing capability, Air Fab will build five sets of aircraft equipment from its facility in Ferntree Gully,” Minister Reynolds said.

“With eight employees, Air Fab is an excellent example of the ingenuity of Australian small business in helping not only keep our personnel safe, but in helping to get Australia’s frontline fighter aircraft back into the air quicker."

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Defence had a strong relationship with BDA, having partnered with the company since 2016 for the sustainment of the Air Force’s 24 F/A-18F Super Hornet and 11 EA-18G Growler aircraft.

“BDA must be congratulated for its commitment to identifying opportunities to improve our sovereign capabilities and expand the use of Australian Industry in supporting our aircraft,” Minister Price said.

Federal Member for Aston Alan Tudge said the contract awarded to Air Fab was great news for the business, the community and the manufacturing industry in Knox.

“Air Fab is just another example of the amazing manufacturers that we have here in Knox,” Mr Tudge said.

“Air Fab is a local success story. They are delivering local jobs while exporting advanced manufacturing to service a global market.”

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