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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier & Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie


    Premier & Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Friday, June 17, 2005


    New York. Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade, Peter Beattie, said today that he welcomed the announcement in Canberra that 8 new troop lift helicopters will be built for the Australian Army in Brisbane, providing further endorsement of the Smart State's aviation industry.

    "Our aviation industry is world class and this is now the second major Defence contract for the company's Brisbane Airport facility," Mr Beattie said.

    "Our goal of becoming a major aviation hub for the Asia Pacific has in recent times become a reality."

    Mr Beattie also welcomed the news that the helicopters would be based with a new squadron at Townsville.

    Australian Aerospace in Brisbane is already assembling 18 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters for the Australian Army.

    Australian Aerospace is a subsidiary of the Eurocopter, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS in France.

    It is the only helicopter producer in Australia.

    The helicopters will be used by a new squadron based at Townsville, which will increase the Army's troop lift capability by more than half and give the Army the ability to move more soldiers further and faster.

    Australian Aerospace was attracted by the Queensland Government to the Smart State in 2001 after winning the Defence Department contract to supply the ARH Tiger helicopters.

    The total value of the latest helicopter contract is $1 Billion involving at total of 12 helicopters, with eight of them being built in Brisbane.

    The first helicopter for the new squadron at Townsville will be delivered in 2007, with all 12 aircraft expected to be delivered by 2008.

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