Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR July-Aug 2016 Contents RUAG Australia’s primary lines of business
- maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO),
precision manufacturing, metal processing
and research and development of advanced
repair technologies – come together to create
a unique and highly valuable offering to the
Australian aviation sector.
Centre of excellence for traditional
maintenance, repair and overhaul of
RUAG Australia’s excellence in the
maintenance, repair and overhaul of landing
systems - which includes the undercarriage,
wheels, braking system and attachments - has
been exemplified with their successful F/A-18
and AP-3C programs.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was
experiencing asset availability issues on their
F/A-18 f leet landing system, primarily caused
from corrosion damage, with similar issues
experienced by the US and Spanish Air Forces.
With the experience and technical skill of
RUAG Australia, a refurbishment program
was developed to restore the entire f leet’s
undercarriage, wheels and brakes to a
serviceable baseline. RUAG Australia developed
and authorized over 300 deviations under
their AEO authority. This included the design
and manufacture in-house of replacement
components where required.
The resulting benefit to the customer was
simple - increased asset & aircraft availability
with the savings from this project alone
estimated at over AUD$4m.
The success of the F/A-18 program led to a
similar refurbishment program on the
AP-3C Orion landing system. Corrosion
was again identified as a main source
of concern. The main and nose landing
gear assemblies are stripped down and
assessed for damage, with repair schemes
developed for any out of scope repairs.
The AP-3C landing system was
quickly and efficiently returned thanks
to the company’s complementary
capabilities and dedication to
addressing the customer’s needs.
Making the next generation of
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
program required the right blend of precision
manufacturing expertise, capability and
equipment to produce the next generation of
fighter jet. RUAG Australia stood out with a
truly unique offering, combining extensive
manufacturing and metal finishing capability,
including non-destructive testing, precision
machining to 0.00005”, assembly and testing.
RUAG Australia was acknowledged as a
natural fit for precision manufacturing of
components for landing gear and the weapons
bay drive door actuator program, stretching
back to the System, Design & Development
phase in 2004.
RUAG Australia has manufactured over
20,000 F-35 components since then, including
landing gear retract, downlock and damper
actuators across all three aircraft variants, and
are the global sole source for a selection of these
To allow successful delivery to the global
program, RUAG Australia’s precision
manufacturing capability was required for the
matched sleeve and slide sets. The maximum
allowed diametrical clearance was 0.000030”.
These contributions have required
coordination with companies in four separate
states and a willingness to collaborate,
culminating in the most complete Australian
solution possible for the customer.
Additive manufacturing to support the
entire landing gear system
Additive manufacture is increasingly being
referred to as the third industrial revolution,
where three dimensional complex shapes
can be built layer by layer through material
deposition. There is a genuine need to restore
worn/damaged profiles to their original shape
and original design integrity.
RUAG Australia adopted two Additive
Technologies as innovative enabling
sustainment technologies, these being
Supersonic Particle Deposition (SPD), also
known as Cold Spray, and Laser Additive
SPD involves accelerating metal powder
particles in a supersonic gas flow to impact a
solid surface and cause plastic deformation,
thus bonding with the underlying material.
LAD uses a laser beam to form a melt pool on a
metallic substrate, into which powder/wire is
fed, to form a deposit that is fusion bonded to
the substrate. The required geometry is built up
layer by layer.
RUAG Australia is a major industry research
centre and a world leader for the development
of powder deposition technologies for defence
applications. RUAG Australia pioneered the
application of both SPD and LAD as part
of innovative repair solutions and were a
significant contributor to the development of
MIL-STD-3021 (Cold Spray).
The successful applications of SPD to date
include geometry restoration of helicopter
transmissions and F/A-18 Landing Systems:
specifically Wheels, Brakes, Swivel Assembly
Housings, Brake Carriers, Axle Hydraulic
Swivel Joints and Drag Brace Outer Tubes.
Many other applications are currently in work
including aircraft wheel recovery, high strength
steel component recovery and the replacement
Partner of Choice
RUAG Australia are firmly committed to the
quality and reliability required for excellence
in landing systems. This means concentrating
not only on their success in traditional MRO
- as with the F/A-18 and P-3 undercarriage,
wheels and braking systems - but also on
manufacturing landing gear components for
the next generation of aircraft. Being at the
forefront of new technologies to support the
entire landing gear system is only natural as
RUAG Australia seeks the best possible solution
for their partners, re-affirming their position as
the Partner of Choice for their customers.
RUAG Australia - Excellence in Landing Gear Systems
21/07/2016 6:55 PM
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