Boeing Loyal Wingman announcement
Remarks at the Boeing Loyal Wingman Announcement Event
27 February 2019
SUBJECTS: Partnership with Boeing for the Loyal Wingman aircraft
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well Greg, it is a fantastic looking vehicle, there’s no doubt about that and today is a red letter day for Australian Defence because for the first time the Australian Government, RAAF are partnering with a Boeing- a corporation like Boeing, has decided to make a significant investment - a $40 million investment in backing Australian ingenuity, innovation, and capability. And Boeing has agreed to be part of that really exciting new chapter in Australian Defence Industry history. As Greg said, this is the first time that Boeing has made such a large investment, gone with one of their non-US-based subsidiaries and it’s Australia that’s been chosen.
It speaks volumes to the capability of the Boeing team here in Australia and enormous congratulations go to Maureen and to Darren who really backed this project and convinced me and the RAAF and the Secretary Greg Moriarty of its efficacy, the capability that it would give the Joint Strike Fighter team here in Australia in the future should the concept be successful, but also the enormous capability for exports of an unmanned aerial vehicle out of Australia around the world. We haven’t built an aircraft- designed and built an aircraft in Australia for military capabilities since the Boomerang in the Second World War. So for those who aren’t particularly familiar with Defence or the Air Force, it really is a red letter day. It’s a 75-year journey from the Boomerang to the Loyal Wingman. It’s also a great name because it explains exactly what its job is and its job is to protect the F-35A or B or C variants, in the air so that they can do the job that they need to do without being taken out in the battlefield.
It’s a very simple concept. It’s a potentially very valuable one, very complicated. There will be ups and downs along the way in this research and development and then progress into manufacturing process. There’ll be times when this project, like many others in Defence, will have its detractors but the Government is backing Australian Defence Industry and we’re proud to be joined by Boeing, one of our great Australian supporters- American supporters of the Australian Air Force. We’re delighted to be partnering with Boeing in bringing this about, so thank you very much. It’s great to have so many Boeing representatives here from the United States as well and I’m really looking forward to hearing about this project in the years ahead.
UNNAMED SPEAKER: Thank you very much Minister, and for those of you who have worked with the minister you know what a strong advocate he is for Australian Defence Industry so we really appreciate that partnership. It is now my pleasure to introduce Air Commodore Steve Edgeley, Director General of Strategic Policy for Innovation for the Royal Australian Air Force.