Boeing and Lockheed Martin have clinched contracts to support and maintain Australia’s fleet of attack and utility helicopters. 

The multi-million-dollar agreements aim to promise job creation and economic growth in Australia’s defence industry landscape.

Boeing’s seven-year agreement to support Australia’s AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, worth an undisclosed sum, promises a boon for Queensland, with more than 230 new roles set to be created in Townsville, Oakey, and Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin Australia has signed A$340m ($221m) deal to provide integrated support and maintenance for the Australian Army’s recently acquired UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, with more than 200 new positions in aircraft maintenance, logistics, and technical roles predicted across Holsworthy, Oakey, and Brisbane.

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Military Rotorcraft Market 2023-2033” report, Lockheed Martin Corp is anticipated to account for the fourth highest revenue share of the Asia-Pacific Market with $8.7bn over the forecast period, owing to the procurement of UH-60M Black Hawk and MH-60R by the Royal Australian Navy.

Australia’s UH-60M Black Hawk procurement replaces its older fleet of MRH-90 Taipan helicopters. Australia intends to acquire 40 transport and utility helicopters for $5bn between 2022 and 2033 from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, a Lockheed Martin company.

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By GlobalData

In other UH-60M Black Hawk developments from 2024, Croatia’s Army is set to bolster its fleet with eight additional UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, following the induction of four units several years ago. Approved by the US State Department, the purchase will enhance the Balkan nation’s military capabilities and strengthen its ties with NATO. 

While Boeing has its sovereign platform sustainment capability, Lockheed Martin emphasises its long-standing partnership with the Australian Army and its commitment to growing Australia’s sovereign rotary-wing workforce.

The contracts signify an investment in Australia’s defence capabilities. As defence spending continues to rise globally, Australia’s defence industry benefits from increased collaboration with international partners, paving the way for technological advancements and skills development.

As the two industry players secure contracts, the real winners are the Australian Defense Force and the nation’s defence industry, poised to thrive in an increasingly competitive global landscape.