Sunshine Coast’s Key Role in Strengthening Defense

A Sunshine Coast company will work with Boeing Defense and other companies to help build new combat drones for the Australian military.

The unmanned MQ-28A ghost bat will be the first combat aircraft produced in Australia for almost 50 years, with a federal government investment worth $34 million.

Defense drones can fly alongside air force jets, acting as an unmanned fighter, jammer or decoy.

Caloundra-based HeliMods will play a key role in manufacturing the aerospace technology along with six other project partners and project manager Boeing Defense Australia.

HeliMods’ plans include building a large manufacturing complex to create ground support systems for Boeing’s MQ-28A ghost bat program.

This is part of the $103 million recently announced by the federal government Advanced Defense Aerospace Manufacturing Network project.

Fisher MP Andrew Wallace said the deal was another show of confidence in the Sunshine Coast’s growing defense industry and manufacturing sector.

“I want Sunshine Coast manufacturers like Will Shrapnel and his team at HeliMods to reap the benefits of our historic $270 billion investment in building Australia’s defense industry and sovereign capability,” Mr. Wallace said.

“What the pandemic has shown us is that we need to diversify our industry to attract the kinds of high-skilled jobs that a project like this creates.

Andrew Wallace MP and Will Shrapnel, Founder and Managing Director, at HeliMods.

“This is world-class advanced technology, not only for the manufacturing sector and the local economy of the Sunshine Coast, but also for our national defense capability.”

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HeliMods Founder and CEO Will Shrapnel said it was an honor to be part of the advanced aerospace and defense manufacturing network led by Boeing.

“The support we will receive as a business through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative collaboration stream will enable us and other network partners to grow and deliver advanced manufacturing technologies directly in major programs such as Boeing’s MQ-28,” Shrapnel said.

“Growing up here on the Sunshine Coast, it was hard to imagine that a local company would have the opportunity to be part of such an important initiative, and that our aerospace industry here on the coast would live up to our expectations. . recognized as globally important.

“I hope this announcement can encourage others to pursue their passions from regional locations to make a global impact.”

HeliMods is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-value mission systems and equipment for aerospace and defense applications, with a state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing base at Caloundra Airfield.

The company currently supports the Australian Defense Force and other essential government services through a growing number of key programs, including the Advanced Defense Aerospace Manufacturing Network.

The announcement follows a $47.4 million investment in another Caloundra-based local company, Eniquest, to manufacture diesel field generators for the ADF.

Eniquest also made generators for the ADF’s protected mobility vehicles, the Bushmaster made in Victoria by defense contractor Thales.

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