Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Feb 2017 Contents F-35
non-destructive testing, prime and painting of the
metallic elements of the vertical tails produced by
BAE. Heat Treatment Australia provides heat treatment
capability for RUAG-manufactured F-35 components.
The November 2016 announcement of Australian
industry participation in F-35 repair and maintenance
assignments saw RUAG Australia being selected for
lead responsibility within the Pacific Region in four of
the eleven categories, the most of any organisation.
This includes MRO of Valves, Auxiliary Power
Systems, Landing Gear Components and Hydraulics,
Pneumatics, Pneudraulics & Hydro-Mechanical
systems, and work is expected to start from 2025.
TAE is a Queensland-based aerospace company that
operates globally and provides products, services and
technologies in gas turbine engine MRO including (but
not limited to) aerospace component MRO for items
such as aircraft wheels, tyres and brakes; manufacturing
of specialised aerospace components such as heat
exchangers and actively cooled electronics enclosures
and design, development, upgrade and support of gas
turbine engine test cells.
The company commenced operation in 2000 as
Tasman Aviation Enterprises, having won a major
F-111 aircraft maintenance contract for the RAAF.
Since then, it has become the largest engine MRO
and engineering company in Australia and became
100% Australian owned in March 2015 following a
TAE will play a significant role in the F-35 program
as one of the few Australian companies working
across both manufacturing and sustainment, with a
number of activities either underway or announced
but yet to start.
This includes the manufacture of liquid
cooled electronics enclosures and similar parts
for companies such as Harris Corp, Cobham
Microelectronic Solutions, BAE Systems, Northrop
Grumman Information Systems and Moog Inc., with
the company supplying parts to the F-35 program
since LRIP 5 and has supplied all the global
production requirements for some parts, including
those on the very first Australian F-35s.
TAE has also been designated as the Asia-Pacific
Regional Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul & Upgrade
(MRO&U) provider for the PW-100/600 (F135)
engine. This means that in addition to the support of
engines in the Australian JSF fleet, the company will
provide a level of support to the global pool of F135
engines and will also establish a maintenance depot
for the F135 engine including a dedicated engine test
facility as part of the Depot Activation scope.
In partnership with RUAG, TAE has also been
assigned as the MRO&U provider for the Power and
Thermal Management System (PTMS) for the F-35,
with TAE’s involvement focused on turbomachinery
and specialised engineering support. It will also
provide Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) services for
components on the F135 engine.
There is also collaboration
with other Australian companies
involved with the F-35 program,
with Levett Engineering providing
Computer Numerical Control
(CNC) machining support to TAE
while in return it provides NDT,
Vacuum Brazing, Heat treatment
and other specialised processing
support to Levett in manufacturing.
In addition, a support network of
smaller Australian companies
will continue supporting TAE
manufacturing and sustainment
activities on the F-35 program.
TAE has told APDR that the
company is still seeking to pursue
further opportunities on the F-35
program including the introduction
of innovative technologies in both
the manufacture and sustainment
environments. It is currently
participating in the collaborative
redesign of multiple air-cooled
electronics enclosures for the F-35 Flight Control
System, and has also been shortlisted for sustainment
activities related to Regional Warehousing and Non-Air
Vehicle Depot Level Repair.
Quickstep is an Australian-listed company which
manufactures advanced composite in Australia
and develops and licences advanced composite
manufacturing technologies for the global market.
It has significant capabilities and expertise in the
production of aerospace-grade advanced composite
components using both conventional autoclave-based
manufacturing and leading out-of-autoclave production
technologies from its fully-commissioned aerospace-
grade manufacturing facility located at Bankstown
The company has developed and patented its
Quickstep Process of manufacturing advanced
composites using a unique fluid-based technology
for curing the composite materials that it says lowers
capital costs by up to two-thirds over the traditional
way of using an equivalent capacity autoclave, lowers
energy consumption for heating/cooling of the laminate
and enables large scale manufacturing volumes using
fast cycle, multiple tool processing.
In November 2009 Quickstep signed its first major
manufacturing agreement with Lockheed Martin and
Northrop Grumman to manufacture parts for the
F-35 program. The MoU covered the manufacture of
F-35 Lightning II with a United States Air Force F-22A Raptor during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.
Credit: Brenton Kwaterski
20 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter FEB 2017
30/01/2017 6:38 PM
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