First-of-its-kind Boeing Loyal Wingman facility set to land in Toowoomba
Published Wednesday, 22 September, 2021 at 12:06 PM
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Treasurer and Minister for Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick
World aviation giant Boeing has selected Toowoomba as the preferred site for an uncrewed‑aircraft production facility which will be their first ever outside North America.
Partnering with the private sector to grow Queensland’s advanced manufacturing sector is an important part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Boeing Australia will establish the facility at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct to produce and assemble the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, also known as the Loyal Wingman, subject to defence orders.
The aircraft made its first flight in February 2021 and is the first military combat aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in Australia in half a century.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the partnership to establish the facility will create new opportunities for Toowoomba.
“This partnership shows great confidence in Queensland as a world leader in advanced manufacturing of the future,” the Premier said.
“By working with the private sector to invest in advanced manufacturing, we’ll continue to create jobs and opportunities for Queenslanders.
“In choosing Wellcamp Airport, Boeing have taken an important step towards delivering their purpose-built final assembly facility.
“This has the potential to greatly improve our state’s advanced manufacturing capability and help shape a workforce of Queenslanders with the skills to build some of the world’s most cutting-edge aircraft.”
Wagner Corporation expect the facility build will support around 300 construction jobs, with at least 70 high-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs to be created once the facility is operational.
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick welcomed Boeing’s decision and said it reinforces the strength of Queensland’s almost 25-year relationship with the aviation company.
“This announcement follows our success with Australia’s first commercial drone flight testing facility at Cloncurry Airport last December, of which Boeing was a first user,” Mr Dick said.
“It’s the result of an arrangement our government entered into with Boeing Australia last year to support the establishment of the primary final assembly facility for the Boeing Loyal Wingman here in Queensland, subject to defence orders.
“It’s expected the project could generate up to $1 billion dollars for Queensland’s economy over 10 years, with more than just defence industries to benefit.
“This is also a project that delivers on the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Defence Industries 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan, which aims to significantly increase defence revenue for our state and generate 3500 new full-time jobs locally by 2028.”
The uncrewed aircraft is designed to operate as a team, using artificial intelligence to extend the capabilities of crewed and uncrewed platforms.
Boeing Defence Australia Vice President and Managing Director Scott Carpendale said the selection of Wellcamp Airport as Boeing’s preferred location for Loyal Wingman assembly was indicative of the company’s global focus and support for Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities, supply chain and export opportunities.
“We are confident in the future production outlook for this world-class, innovative aircraft,” Mr Carpendale said.
“We’re thinking long-term about this investment, which could assist Australia to gain future work share in other global defence and aerospace opportunities, in addition to the Loyal Wingman assembly.
“The Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct location is attractive due to its access to a flight line, clear flying days, commercial flight access from major cities and ability to support the rapid pace at which the Airpower Teaming System program is growing.
“Sustainable aerospace is a critical focus for The Boeing Company, and Wagner Corporation’s use of sustainable construction methods supports our vision to create a leading sustainable aerospace manufacturing facility from the ground up, including renewable technologies and human-centric design.”
Wagner Corporation Chairman John Wagner said Boeing’s selection of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport was a major boost for the region.
“Attracting investment and global companies such as Boeing to Toowoomba is recognition of the strategic advantages the Wellcamp Airport site offers, including access to the future Inland Rail,” Mr Wagner said.
Boeing Australia is currently developing six aircrafts in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), with flight testing ongoing.
Learn more about Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System, or visit boeing.com for more information on Boeing Defense, Space and Security.
- Jack Harbour 0419 620 447 (Premier)
- Ben Doyle 0400 775 561 (Treasurer)