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27 Feb 19. Trump pitches U.S. arms exports in meeting with Vietnam .U.S. President Donald Trump used a meeting with Vietnamese officials on Wednesday to pitch arms exports from the United States, ahead of a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump is in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, for his second summit with Kim since their first historic meeting in June last year.
Speaking after Boeing and General Electric signed agreements with Vietnamese airlines VietJet and Bamboo, Trump said he appreciated the aviation deals and added that Vietnam had been looking to buy military equipment from the United States.
“I also appreciate the fact that you’re looking at much of our military equipment,” Trump said during a lunch meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
“We make the best military equipment in the world by far, whether it’s jet fighters or missiles or rockets or anything you want to name, we make, we’re acknowledged to have made, we make the best,” said Trump.
“So I appreciate you’re looking at that very strongly and I know that’s a decision you make”.
Vietnam has been one of the world’s most active arms importers in recent years, amid China’s increasingly aggressive stance in the South China Sea, where the neighbors have long-standing rival claims.
Vietnam has been seeking to diversify its equipment and reliance on Soviet-era or Russian technology.
The United States announced a complete end to its arms embargo on old war-time enemy Vietnam in May 2016 during a visit to Hanoi by former U.S. president Barack Obama, which paved the way for Hanoi to be able to buy a full range of U.S. weapons and military equipment.
U.S., N. Korea spar over talks breakdown
Immediate big-ticket purchases are not expected, but Vietnam’s military strategists have in the past indicated interest in U.S. drones, radar, and possibly P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft.
The United States gave six patrol boats to the Vietnamese coastguard in March last year, the latest move in increased security ties between them, following a landmark visit by a U.S. aircraft carrier the same month.
The vessels were in addition to another six patrol boats and a high-endurance cutter provided to Vietnam by the United States in 2017. (Source: glstrade.com/Reuters)
27 Feb 19. Statement by Official Spokesperson on 27 February 2019. India had informed about Counter Terrorism (CT) action it took yesterday against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully. The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts.
(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the latest official statement released by the Indian government) (Source: (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Indian Ministry of External Affairs)
27 Feb 19. Pakistan Strikes Back. Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace. This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm. That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight. For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call “a new normal” a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
27 Feb 19. Melting missiles – just one problem with F-35s stopping North Korea rockets. Looking for a quick way to stop North Korean missiles immediately after lift-off, the Pentagon is studying as a near-term option whether a group of F-35 fighter jets hovering around North Korean airspace could pick off freshly-launched rockets. In its current form, the idea defies physics, missile defence experts say. It calls for interceptor missiles that fly so fast they could melt one expert said, and the only surefire way for U.S. military aircraft to defeat a missile with current technology would be to fly in hostile airspace, according to three experts interviewed by Reuters.
The idea, part of a six-month study launched last month, shows how the Pentagon is seeking ways to neutralise the threat posed by Pyongyang even as President Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week in Vietnam in his effort to stop Kim’s nuclear programme.
Concern over U.S. missile defences has grown with the escalating threat from North Korea. Two years ago North Korea conducted about a dozen missile tests, some with multiple rockets, including the launch of a suspected inter-continental ballistic missile that could hit the U.S. mainland. They also tested a purported hydrogen bomb.
The F-35 plan under study would likely involve continuously flying a group of the stealthy jets within range of known North Korean missile sites. Once a missile is launched towards U.S. territory, the F-35’s advanced sensors would detect and then fire a special air-to-air missile before the Pyongyang projectile exits the atmosphere, the latest missile defence strategy and Pentagon leadership have said.
Military officials say the F-35 option is the one they want to test first because it could use existing military hardware and potentially be operational sooner than other strategies, and at a relatively low cost. At the same time Pentagon leadership says the tests may reveal a new interceptor is needed, or that the F-35 may only have a role in detecting the just-launched missile and not necessarily also shoot it down.
Speaking about that option after last month’s release of the defence strategy review, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin said: “we do think it could be both cost effective and … within the bounds of math and physics.”
Among other proposals included in the review was one involving lasers mounted on drones – proposed to stop missiles just after take-off in what is called the boost phase.
During this portion of the flight the missile is most vulnerable, flying at its slowest speed, easily detected by the heat from its engines, and incapable of evading interceptors as it accelerates to break out of the earth’s atmosphere.
Geography complicates the F-35 plan. Tom Karako, a missile defence expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington noted that jets lying in wait for a North Korean missile would in theory need to respect North Korean airspace. But remaining at such a distance could leave the jets too far from the missile launch to be effective.
Theodore Postol, a missile defence expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said even a modified air-to-air missile would be too slow to take out an intercontinental ballistic missile before it exited the atmosphere.
Air-to-air missiles like those made by Raytheon Co would only have an estimated 200 seconds to hit a ballistic missile before reaching an altitude where the air is too thin to manoeuvre. Given that it would take an F-35 approximately 50-60 seconds to detect, lock onto and launch an air-to-air missile, Postol said, the jet would need to be very close to the ballistic missile to take it out.
“If you are on top of it you can shoot it down,” the retired rocket scientist said. “But the odds are going to be very low that you can be on top of it.”
Even if a much faster and lighter version air-to-air missile was mounted in an F-35 jet, depending on the distance the weapon would have to fly so fast it would begin to melt, Postol added.
Despite the obstacles, the very fact that Pentagon was weighing such an option was significant, Karako said. “This shows a broader cultural shift.” Rather than some giant programme, Karako said, the Pentagon is considering “a mission that is integrated into a broader mesh of tactical programs the Department of Defense can call on.”
Making it work will be a challenge, though.
“You would need to be very close to the launch site, within North Korea itself, said physicist Laura Grego, who studies missile defence at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Grego said that even if the air-to-air missile travelled at five times the speed of sound, the F-35 would need to be within about 50 miles of the missile, “probably closer, to be realistic.”
That gives a huge advantage to the stealthy F-35 which could get much closer to a possible launch area than a non-stealth aircraft.
“This is one of the advantages of the F-35,” said retired U.S. general David Deptula. He added that the radar-evading jets “can get in much closer to an adversary launch area than … a non-stealthy aircraft.”
That suggests that by using the F-35 made by Lockheed Martin, the U.S. could secretly monitor for ballistic missile launches with jets flying inside North Korean airspace. (Source: Reuters)
25 Feb 19. Australia formulates its path to military modernization and industrial growth. One of the United States’ most steadfast allies, seen widely as a lynchpin of security in the Asia-Pacific region, is in the process of recapitalizing its own air power capabilities and developing a local defense industry that it hopes will be globally competitive in the near future.
Although Australia is somewhat geographically isolated from the rest of the world (with a former Australian prime minister reportedly referring to it as the back end of the world — although he used a more colorful term), the country is very much connected to the world and rather dependent on seaborne trade with Asia, thus it is invested in regional security.
Its armed forces have also deployed as part of coalition forces to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as helped in the fight against the Islamic State group. There is strong support across the Australian political spectrum for its alliance with the U.S. and for maintaining the global rules-based order.
The country, which is hosting the biennial Avalon Airshow in the southern state of Victoria later this month, recently welcomed the first of its Lockheed Martin-made F-35A fighter jets in-country — part of a transformation aimed at modernizing the Royal Australian Air Force into a service that will be networked to its Army and Navy counterparts.
A fifth-generation air force
Under Plan Jericho, the Royal Australian Air Force, or RAAF, seeks to transform itself into an integrated, networked force that can deliver air power effects in the information age. A key part of this is by realizing the potential of the increased data and situational awareness that will be made available as the service brings a range of modern aircraft into service. These include 72 F-35As, which will replace the F/A-18A/B Hornet as the service’s main combat aircraft, backed by 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets and 11 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
The F/A-18A/B fighters, which are known as Classic Hornets in Australia, are being progressively withdrawn from service, with the last aircraft to be retired around 2022. Canada will buy 25 of the Classics; it will field 18 and keep the rest for spares. The first aircraft will reportedly arrive in Canada as Defense News goes to press and will enter Canadian service in the middle of this year.
Australia is also replacing its Lockheed Martin AP-3C Orion anti-submarine maritime patrol aircraft, with the Boeing P-8A Poseidon and the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance UAV taking over the maritime domain awareness mission.
Delivery of the P-8As is ongoing, with seven of 15 aircraft already in Australia, while the six Tritons will start arriving in 2023.
The P-8As have carried out missions enforcing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, with an aircraft beginning operations in December from the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Meanwhile, Australia has conducted connectivity trials on its airlift fleet as part of Plan Jericho. Working with industry, one of the RAAF’s Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules airlifters was fitted with wideband satellite communications equipment and wing drop tanks, and will eventually be equipped with the Litening AT electro-optical targeting pod as a means to improve its tactical capability.
Procurement road map
Australia’s last defense whitepaper, published in 2016, provided insight into future procurement programs, some of which include a fast medevac platform and a fleet of special operations helicopters.
The latter would need to fit onboard the RAAF’s Boeing C-17 strategic airlifters; and according to the whitepaper, the helo will be used to “insert, extract and provide fire support for small teams of Special Forces undertaking tasks ranging from tactical observation through to counter-terrorism missions, or hostage recovery.”
The investment plan released alongside the whitepaper said the chosen type needs to be small enough so that “three or four” can fit inside a C-17 as part of a small force element.
The whitepaper also flagged the potential replacement of the RAFF’s lead-in fighter training system. The replacement program was expected to begin in 2022 and last until the end of the next decade. The service is currently operating the BAE Systems Hawk 127 as its lead-in fighter trainer, with the fleet nearing the end of an upgrade program to keep the type relevant for training pilots who will go on to fly advanced fighters.
The Hawks are expected to continue service in Australia until around 2026. But Steve Drury, BAE Systems Australia’s director of aerospace and integrated systems, told Defense News that the service life of the aircraft could be extended by another 10 years.
During an interview last year, the chief of the RAAF, Air Marshal Leo Davies, told Defense News that the service was considering several different options for a future fighter trainer, and that extending the Hawk’s service was also under consideration.
Australia is also seeking unmanned aircraft to operate from Royal Australian Navy ships. The service is conducting trials with the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter, and under phases 4 and 5 of Project SEA 129 it will look to acquire more aircraft for forthcoming offshore patrol vessels and frigates.
A larger role for industry
The current Australian government has prioritized the development of a sustainable local industry and has made substantial efforts to ensure local industry is heavily involved in production and sustainment.
Several Australian companies have secured a healthy slice of F-35 manufacturing work, with components for the vertical tail, weapons bay and skin panels among a host of components manufactured in Australia as part of the jet’s global supply chain.
In addition, Australian companies will be involved in the F-35 sustainment program, with BAE Systems Australia serving as the south Pacific regional airframe depot and the Asia-Pacific regional parts warehouse for the program. In 2016, four Australian companies secured regional depot maintenance responsibility for 64 of the first 65 tier 1 F-35 components.
The next step for Australian industry could be to grow its share of the global defense market.
Last year, Britain chose the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail for its airborne early warning fleet — an aircraft already in use by Australia. Steven Ciobo, Australia’s minister for defense industry, sees an opportunity to work with Britain through cooperative development and industry collaboration.
“Australian industry, including the more than 200 Australian companies that have contributed to our own Wedgetail acquisition and sustainment, stands to benefit from what could become one of Australia’s most significant defense exports,” he said in October.
The Australian government has made boosting defense exports a priority. Last year it released its defense export strategy that provided a system to plan, guide and measure defense export outcomes.
The government has also provided $14m in additional annual funding from 2018-2019 to support defense exports, and it will set up a new defense export office within the Defence Department to drive implementation of the strategy, with the goal of growing Australia’s defense industry into a top 10 global defense exporter by 2028. (Source: Defense News)
25 Feb 19. United States aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has unveiled a ‘new’ fighter, dubbed the F-21, which it intends to offer India, instead of the F-16, in the global contest to sell the Indian Air Force 114 fighters. Launched on Wednesday, February 20, the first day of Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru, the F-21 has the tagline ‘The F-21: Different — Inside and Out’.
But in almost every respect — engine, basic airframe and most avionics — it is a slightly improved F-16 Block 60, an aircraft already in service.
In rebranding the F-16 into the F-21, Lockheed Martin appears to have accepted what many have warned it for years: That the IAF would never buy a fighter whose very name is associated across India with the Pakistan air force which has operated the F-16 since the 1980s. The F-16 also carries the reputation of a dated fighter, having already been in service for four decades.
A new F-21 which Lockheed Martin says is ‘specially configured for the IAF’, would perhaps overcome the reputation of an old-timer.
To be sure, this is not the first time this ploy has been used.
Russia Aircraft Corporation rebranded its MiG-29 as the MiG-35 and fielded it as a new aircraft in India’s medium multi-role combat aircraft contest from 2007 to 2015. Lockheed Martin has briefed this correspondent on the improvements in the aircraft, not all of which it says can be revealed due to operational secrecy. However, the airframe remains largely the same, as does the fighter’s engine.
Randy Howard of Lockheed Martin says the changes include a ‘dorsal fairing’ — a rib along the fighter’s spine in which additional equipment can be carried in the future, in order to improve the fighter’s avionic capability.
The IAF has not asked for a dorsal fairing, but Howard says it is a “unilateral offer from Lockheed Martin”.
Aerospace experts say there is little to differentiate the F-21 from the F-16 Block 70 which will first enter service in Bahrain.
The dorsal fairing, they say, is an attempt to overcome the IAF’s key reason for rejecting the F-16 in the MMRCA contest — that it lacked potential for growth.
“This is a straight marketing play, following the same playbook as the Russians did when they rebranded the MiG-29 as the MiG-35,” says Pushpinder Singh, who publishes the aerospace trade journal, Vayu.
Incongruously, the US military already has an F-21 fighter, suggesting the rebranding was done in haste.
In the late 1980s, the US navy bought the Israeli Kfir fighter to play the role of ‘aggressor’ (enemy) aircraft in two-sided air exercises. That aircraft was named the F-21.
In unveiling the F-21 fighter, Lockheed Martin stated: ‘The F-21 addresses the IAF’s unique requirements and integrates India into the world’s largest fighter aircraft eco-system with the world’s pre-eminent defence company. Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems would produce the F-21 in India, for India.’
Meanwhile, a US air force F-16 Fighting Falcon carryied out aerobatic displays at Aero India as did three Boeing F/A-18EF Super Hornets.
The Rafale had a high voltage presence, with two flying displays daily.
Swedish company Saab, which intends to offer the Gripen E in the IAF tender for 114 fighters, did not participate in the flying display, but displayed a fighter and a cockpit simulator. The other aircraft in the contest — the Eurofighter and Russia’s MiG-35 and Sukhoi-35 — were not displayed. Aero India 2019 also witnessed the Final Operational Certification of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. This clears the way for manufacture of another 20 Tejas fighters — the IAF’s second Tejas squadron. (Source: (Source: News Now: //www.rediff.com/)
24 Feb 19. Iran says it made successful submarine missile launch in Gulf war games. Iran successfully tested a cruise missile on Sunday during naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, state media reported, at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.
Tehran has in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Gulf, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.
In August Washington said Iran had test-fired a short-range anti-ship missile in the strait during naval drills it believed were intended as a warning after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
“On the third day of the … exercises, a Ghadir-class Iranian navy submarine successfully launched a cruise missile,” official news agency IRNA reported.
Iran’s other submarines, the Tareq and the new domestically built Fateh (Conqueror), have the same anti-ship capability, IRNA quoted a military statement as saying.
More than 100 vessels took part in the three-day war games in a vast area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, state media reported.
Separately, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran had been aware of “enemy efforts” to sabotage its missile programme and neutralised them, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
“They were trying to sabotage some parts, to cause the missiles to explode in the air,” Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, was quoted as saying by Tasnim.
“But so far, they have failed … because we anticipated (the sabotage plans) and made reinforcements.”
Iran last week confirmed that it had failed twice in the past two months to launch a satellite into orbit.
Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme last May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
Iran’s expansion of its missile programme, particularly its ballistic missiles, has been met with expressions of concern by the United States and European countries. Tehran says the programme provides deterrent capabilities and is defensive.
The USS John C. Stennis entered the Gulf in December, ending a long absence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the waterway.
Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, though there are concerns about its long-range ballistic missiles. (Source: Reuters)
26 Feb 19. Aerospace restructure urged. Australia’s aerospace and defence industry has entered a likely long boom with a claimed need for more middle-level manufacturers capable of taking big subcontracts from the global primes — and they may be emerging. About a dozen international prime contractors and their major subcontractors, or subprimes, dominate the Australian sector. Below are hundreds of companies with fewer than 25 employees.
The local industry has “relatively few” medium-sized businesses, notes the government’s 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan. It contrasts this “unique” structure with the US, Britain and Canadian industries, which it calls “middle/top heavy”.
Australia’s aircraft manufacturing and repair sector’s 13,000-strong workforce is scattered across 913 businesses, the market research firm IBISWorld says.
Does it matter that Australian-owned companies are largely at the bottom of an industry pyramid?
Mike Kalms, KPMG’s lead partner for defence and member of the expert panel that oversaw the 2016 Defence Department policy white paper, says Australia needs to develop “a new echelon of defence mediums” that can handle billion-dollar subcontracts.
Most local manufacturers and service providers in defence and aerospace are sub-$20m-a- year businesses — and 80 per cent do defence work infrequently, Kalms says. Local companies that “creep up into the $200m-plus revenue category” tend to be bought by global players, he says.
“There are very few examples of Australian defence businesses that have got into that space and remained relatively independent,” Kalms says.
“I do think it’s important Australia develops a new wave of $100m-$300m businesses that employ Australians, generate revenue and create intellectual property that is sovereign to Australia, developing our next generation of game-changing technologies for the defence and commercial sectors.
“The lack of mid-size service and manufacturing companies limits — in the long term — our ability to create a sovereign and independent defence capability,” Kalms says.
Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo says he is “very confident’’ existing policy levers will result in the rise of mid-tier Australian defence businesses.
Ciobo says the $200bn Defence Department asset-spending program combined with direct government support through the defence export strategy and global supply-chain program have given Australian businesses “the best opportunity to scale up for many, many years’’.
“The government has put in place the Australian Industry Capability component [to defence spending], we are the ones requiring defence primes to utilise Australian businesses. That will help these businesses achieve scale to secure export-led growth,’’ he says.
Ciobo says the local defence-aerospace industry is “incredibly optimistic about the future’’.
“As we continue to see primes engaging with Australian industry — and as we can talk increasingly of the success of the supply-chain initiative — it will create a beneficial cycle for all defence businesses to be able to grow and scale up.’’
The Australian Industry Group’s head of manufacturing, Mark Goodsell, says developing mid-level companies will be a “key marker” of the success of the government’s defence industry policy.
Goodsell, who is also executive director of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, says the government should look at “clustering” of small and medium enterprises, funding system-integrator companies and giving incentives to big companies that have already built an industrial base in the country.
Old procurement models that relied on global primes and a myriad of offshore and local suppliers “did little to develop a robust, locally based second tier of suppliers, particularly system integrators, and did not support export penetration,” he says.
Kalms will facilitate a workshop at this week’s Avalon 2019 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition. He welcomes the “largely bipartisan” policy commitment to grow Australia’s aerospace and defence industry. Programs such as the federal government’s Next Generation Technology Fund, Centre for Defence Industry Capability and Defence Innovation Hub “do great things to help business grow, hire and create IP [intellectual property]”.
What’s missing, he argues, is “a formal stated aspiration to grow a strong Australian middle. I would like to see government and industry stand up to that kind of ambition and be more focused on what the Australian industry should look like at the end of this transformation.”
There are signs an emerging breed of entrepreneurs will go on to build middle-ranking defence and aerospace businesses, Kalms says.
“There is something different about the way Australian business is mobilising for opportunities now. I can’t think of a time when we saw start-ups and established businesses entering the defence and commercial aerospace sectors at such a rate.”
Joint ventures and other alliances can help aerospace and defence businesses get bigger. Two small Melbourne-based firms, BEAK Engineering and Decon Systems, together have developed a new ground power unit (GPU) for commercial aviation. The hybrid fuel/battery unit will be unveiled at the Avalon airshow.
BEAK supplies GPUs to Qantas and is the only Australian company making them for military aircraft. With 17 employees, BEAK also services the navy’s Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse helicopter landing system made in Canada by the US-based Curtiss-Wright.
BEAK’s chief financial officer, Kal Desai, says Australia “definitely” should encourage the development of medium-size companies in defence and commercial aerospace.
“It’s a struggle to move from a $10m-$50m company to a $200m-$300m company,” he says. “The JV with Decon allows us to tender for contracts we previously didn’t have the scale or skills for. We have more resources for field service work and we can manufacture faster because we have access to larger premises and more personnel.
“A lot of local companies getting a tiny piece of defence work are trying to get a bigger piece and develop local products for export via alliances.”
Kalms says collaboration between industry, universities and government is “starting to become part of our DNA and the normal way of doing business”.
It has already helped small companies create new technologies, products and services that are sold domestically and globally, he says.
Twelve years ago, Axiom Precision Manufacturing received most of its work from the then-bigger automotive industry. Now, aerospace and defence clients provide 95 per cent of the Adelaide-based company’s work.
Axiom supplies BAE Systems with machined titanium components for the vertical tails of F-35 joint strike fighters and Boeing Defence with parts for CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Axiom learnt the industry and made contacts by joining the Defence Teaming Centre, an industry association in South Australia.
“Being a member of DTC allows us to team with other defence contractors and show the primes we have a creditable network of suppliers,” Axiom aerospace and defence manager Fred Hull says.
“For example, we can show them who is going to be doing the heat treating or surface coating for the parts we are machining.”
He thinks the “lumpiness” of the project-driven industry partly explains the lack of a major middle. “However, we now have a range of long-term defence projects that will have a lot of Australian industry content,” he says.
“That should allow small manufacturers to grow into those mid-size companies.” Axiom has bought land on which to erect two more factory buildings and expects to grow from 63 employees to 100 by the end of 2020, Hull says.
“Australia has a reputation for producing quality aircraft components and is a trusted manufacturer for many global aviation firms,’’ consultancy IBISWorld says in public extracts of its December 2018 report, Aircraft Manufacturing and Repair Services.
It observes of the industry’s positives: “Component manufacturing for military aircraft has supported many industry operators; government capital expenditure on defence is anticipated to increase strongly.’’
But “the industry is largely at the mercy of contractual arrangements, with maintenance and repair service contracts and contracts to produce aircraft parts and smaller aircraft the key drivers behind revenue growth.
“The industry has a high level of concentration, with large multinational aerospace firms dominating, and barriers to entry are relatively high. Scalability, unit costs and ability to obtain long-term contracts are keys to success,’’ it says. (Source: Google/https://www.theaustralian.com.au)
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