AUGUST 2015 45 and rudders for the 777. Many of the parts and assemblies manufactured by Boeing Aerostructures Australia are on Boeing jets flown by the country’s airlines. Qantas operates 75 Next-Generation 737s and its low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar, soon will have an all-787 fleet for international routes. Virgin Australia Airlines, part of the Virgin Group, has a large fleet of 737s and was the first airline in the region to order the 737 MAX. The 737, which can fly for up to six hours with a range of more than 3,000 nautical miles (3,500 miles, or 5,600 kilometers), “is a great workhorse for the region and you see lots of 737s flying to and from Australia,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia-Pacific and India Sales for Commercial Airplanes. Sydney Airport also is an international hub, with Boeing jets from all over the world flying in and out of the airport on Australia’s east coast. Air New Zealand, flagship carrier of Australian neighbor New Zealand, was the launch customer for the longer 787-9 and has several of the airplanes. The 787-9 and the new 777X now in development will be attractive for this growing region because they offer significant fuel efficiency and range, and profitability for the airlines, according to Keskar. Along with strong commercial prospects, Boeing has a robust defense business in Australia. Boeing Defence Australia, a Brisbane-based subsidiary of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a major supplier to Australia’s military. It’s also home to advanced modeling, simulation and prototyping capabilities from Phantom Works. The Australian Defence Force is the only customer, other than the U.S. Navy, for Boeing’s EA-18 Growler, the electronic warfare version of its F/A-18 Super Hornet. Australia also was the first international Super Hornet customer. That shows the strength of the relationship between the two countries, said Syd Blocher, director of Business Development in Australia for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The first of Australia’s 12 Growlers is expected to be delivered in 2017. The Growler will fit right in with the Australian Defence Force’s mix of Boeing aircraft and products, which includes the C-17 Globemaster III , the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft, the CH-47 Chinook helicopter (including the latest “F” model), Harpoon missiles, Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. And the Australian government, in February 2014, approved the acquisition of eight P-8A maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft based on the 737, with the first to be delivered in 2017. As Boeing’s C-17 production in Long Beach, Calif., wound down this spring, the Australian government announced it would acquire two more of the aircraft, bringing its total to eight. In addition to the C-17’s military capabilities, Australia uses it as a “tool of friendship and diplomacy,” Blocher said, citing the country’s deployment of C-17s to provide humanitarian aid following a cyclone on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu and earthquake in Nepal. Australia plays an important role regionally and globally, Blocher noted, adding: “It’s a point of pride that we are right there with them as a company to support their operations.” Boeing Defence Australia’s recent successes are part of a journey that included early setbacks with Boeing’s Wedgetail program. The first of the 737-based aircraft was delivered about three years late. But Australia now has all six of its Wedgetails, and they are performing well, according to the Royal Australian Air Force. “We stood behind what our Photos: (From top) Boeing Aerostructures Australia employee Shivakumar Lingaiah assembles a 787 inboard flap; Qantas 737s lined up at Sydney Airport.
Frontiers August 2015 Issue
To see the actual publication please follow the link above