Defense Industry is Looking Up Down Under

February 27, 2017 | Author: Mark Burgess

AVALON 2017 is shaping up to be one of the busiest and most positive in the 25-year history of the Australian International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition. There is a strong sense of optimism among Australian defense companies who are encouraged by the projected rate of growth in defense spending through the end of the decade and well into the 2020s.

Under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian government plans to move steadily toward the goal of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. That translates to a compounded annual rate of spending growth in the 6 percent range over the next 3-5 years and a total spend of around $195 billion (AUD) over the next decade.

That’s good news for both Australia’s growing domestic defense industry and the Australian economy. Much of the incremental budget will be spent with Australian companies to help improve the country’s defense and homeland security capabilities. Australia has a vibrant and growing defense industry and many international companies – including Honeywell – choose to work through local channel partners.

For example, we have a long-standing relationship with TAE, Australia’s largest provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for turbine engines. TAE is the authorized service provider for our TPE331 turboprop engine for Australia and the entire Asia Pacific region. The company also services the Honeywell AGT1500 engine, which powers the Abrams Main Battle Tank, for the Australian Army.

Land vehicle navigation is another Honeywell strength. Our TALIN family of inertial land navigation products provide accurate, reliable navigation and pointing capabilities for Australian tanks, light combat vehicles and artillery.

We also work closely with RUAG Australia, a company that provides full lifecycle support on many of the front-line aircraft flown by the Royal Australian Air Force. As always, our goal is to work with local partners and to be viewed by our defense and homeland security customers as an Australian company ourselves.

Honeywell is actively seeking new channel partners who can help us provide even more comprehensive and responsive service and sustainability for our Australian customers. This will become increasingly important to us – and the RAAF – as the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is integrated into the Australian fleet. A more commercial approach to procurement and sustainment will benefit the Australian Defense Force and the taxpayer and we’re working with our partners to help the country make the transition.

We’re also working with Inmarsat Australia to install L-band satellite communications solutions on Australian military and government aircraft and we’re on the leading edge with the next “big thing” in satellite communications – Inmarsat’s Ka-band solution, which is called Global Xpress Aviation.

GX Aviation is enabled by our proven JetWave hardware and provides fast, reliable connectivity for commercial, military and government aircraft. Last year we flew a series of highly successful demonstration flights in Australia using Honeywell’s Boeing 767 flying test bed.

Honeywell also is a leader in providing technologies that improve the capabilities and extend the useful life of military aircraft with retrofits, modifications and upgrades. We’re working closely with our channel partners to provide the latest technology that adds value to existing platforms without breaking the bank.

These are exciting times for Australia’s robust defense industry and Honeywell is proud to be part of the aerospace and defense community. We remain committed to working with our partners to provide technology solutions that improve the safety, efficiency and mission-effectiveness of the Australian Defense Force.

Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess was named Vice President, APAC for Honeywell Aerospace in 2015. Based in Brisbane he leads the Defense & Space Asia Pacific team.

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