Systems Australia has strengthened its position as one of the leading defence and security companies by securing a pre-commitment to expand its presence at Newcastle Airport’s Defence estate. BAE Systems, which employs around 5,000 people across Australia, has signed a 34-year extension on its current lease at Newcastle Airport and has also entered into a new pre-commitment for up to 4.4 hectares of land on Astra Aerolab – Australia’s Premier Defence and Aerospace Precinct, which offers airside access to RAAF Williamtown and Newcastle Airport. The agreement sees Astra Aerolab providing a full range of property services, including future development of facilities on the pre-commitment land.

Newcastle Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock said BAE Systems’ commitment and expansion at Astra Aerolab will propel the development of this world-class aerospace precinct. “The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated,’’ he said. “As Australia’s premier fast jet base, RAAF Base Williamtown is home to a vast majority of Australia’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. BAE Systems Australia plays a key sustainment role in the Asia Pacific region for the F-35 program and as such is looking to increase its presence and resources at Williamtown. This new footprint will allow the development of a bespoke facility adjacent to its current site that will see a significant expansion of BAE Systems’ world class local workforce. Their commitment to a future presence at Astra Aerolab is an important step in ensuring we continue to deliver on our promise of being uplifting by building a thriving, world leading defence and aerospace ecosystem at Williamtown. This is also an early win for the NSW Government’s Williamtown Special Activation Precinct in attracting further jobs and investment, turbo-charging and diversifying the regional economy in the process.”

BAE Systems Australia’s Managing Director of Defence Delivery, Andrew Gresham said: “BAE Systems is delivering significant support for Australia’s F-35 fleet and this offers extensive opportunities for Australian industry. Astra Aerolab will facilitate the continued development of our capabilities and resources in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. There is an exciting future ahead for Williamtown.” 

Reflecting on the success of this signing and what it means for the region, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct. It shows the confidence major players like Newcastle Airport and BAE Systems have in our vision to drive investment in regional NSW, generate more and better paying jobs and help to create a world-class defence and aerospace hub.”


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