Military Aerospace Technical Development in Australia 872426
Recent Defence reviews have highlighted the policy of self-reliance for Australian Defence. The Aerospace industry is seen as having a substantial role in the repair, maintenance and adaptation of equipment as well as contributing to the production of selected items. It also contributes to the support of an aerospace infrastructure in Australia which provides education and R&D support to commercial and general aviation as well as defence. New equipment being acquired by the Australian Defence Force, including the F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, Blackhawk helicopters and their support equipment, is as modern as that of most larger nations. Local industry and research and development laboratories have a proud history of producing Service equipment with varying degrees of design, development and production or assembly which has provided sound defence support. The Aerospace Industry faces a declining defence workload, counterbalanced to some degree by overseas sourced offset workloads, but its long term future tends to be clouded by problems of finding products and markets suited to Australia's size and regional position. This paper identifies the requirements for and strengths of Australia's military aerospace technologies.
The current economic climate facing the industry lays increased emphasis on competitive commercial relationships with defence customers and on industry enterprise. Mechanisms exist in international co-operation and collaborative programmes amongst others to foster effective development of an industry capable of supporting the required level of military technology. The importance of recognizing the current situation is stressed as innovative plans are developed for the future of aerospace in Australia.