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Boeing seeks 'maximised' Australian industry involvement in Apache offer

11 September 2019
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Boeing has invited Australian industry to express interest in working on 43 potential work packages in support of its proposed sale of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Australian Army. Source: US Army

Boeing has formally started the process of looking at how it might integrate local industry into its proposal to supply its AH-64 Apache attack helicopter to meet Australia's Project Land 4503 Armed Reconnaissance Capability (ARC) requirement.

The company has published details about 43 work packages that it wants local companies to be involved in. Details about the projects, which call for local industry to submit expressions of interest (EOIs), were recently published on the Industry Capability Network (ICN) - a business networking portal supported by the government.

The packages include work on airframe assemblies, avionics systems, component manufacturing, ground support services, the supply of materials, the provision of power systems, and the supply of other support and training solutions.

In releasing the work packages, Boeing said it is "conducting a market search to understand the depth and breadth of rotary-wing sustainment and training capability in Australia". It added that the process will "support further engagement for opportunities that might arise within both current and future projects supported by Boeing".

In a media briefing on 5 September, Darren Edwards, the managing director and vice president of Boeing Defence Australia (BDA), said the release of the work packages on the ICN portal will be followed by a "roadshow across Australia" conducted by the company that will look to engage with local companies with a view to integrating them into its Land 4503 offering and also, in the longer term, into Boeing's global supply chains.

Edwards explained that the effort to integrate local industry also reflects Boeing's sales strategy to offer the Apache through both the US government Foreign Military Sale (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) mechanisms. Local industry involvement would be channelled through the latter while the main part of the acquisition would be framed by FMS. Both would offer Australia distinct benefits, he said.

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