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February 18, 2022

AirFab to provide Wide-band SATCOM System work stands for P-8A aircraft

The work stands have been designed in partnership with the DOD and the US Navy.

Victoria-based AirFab has secured a contract from the US Navy to deliver 22 Wide-Band Satellite Telecommunications (SATCOM) system work stands.

The contract is worth over $1.77m (A$2.46m) and the work stands are for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

The US Navy granted the contract after verification and validation during 2020.

AirFab manager Michael Millsteed said: “This type of export opportunity not only provides growth and ongoing work to AirFab’s current staff but gives us an opportunity to increase employment and training that supports a network of more than 20 small and medium-sized enterprises that we work with.

“The materials we use in our equipment are 90% Australian made, and the steel and aluminium are sourced from local manufacturers.”

AirFab had partnered with the Department of Defence (DOD) and the US Navy to design the work stand.

The firm is also producing eight work stands for the Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon fleet.

The work stands enable technicians to access the P-8A Wide-Band SATCOM station, and to carry out fuselage inspections securely without stretching too much.

It has safety features to protect personnel and can withstand severe environments.

Defence P-8A management unit deputy director wing commander Adam Bowler said: “The highly skilled Australian workforce that supports the P-8A partnership with the United States Navy has contributed significant improvements in the safety and longevity of our fleet.

“Australia has supported the United States Navy capability via our domestic expertise in aircraft husbandry, our harsh environment and limited population centres demand proficiency in airframe degradation protection as well as dependable, deployable support equipment.”

Last month, NORSTA Maritime won a $50.3m (A$70m) contract to serve as the regional maintenance provider for the Cairns Regional Maintenance Centre.

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