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Defence invests further $400M in MG-28A Ghost Bat

The Australian Government has invested an additional $399 million inthe ongoing development of the MQ-28A Ghost Bat.

The Ghost Bat, known as a Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA), is being developed in cooperation with Boeing Defence Australia. It is the first military combat aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years.

The further development of MQ-28A Ghost Bat comes after the Government agreed with a Defence Strategic Review recommendation that options be developed for collaboration and technology sharing with the United States. In line with the Government’s response, Defence signed a CCA development project arrangement with the United States on 30 March 2023.

The Ghost Bat is designed to act as a loyal wingman which will be able to protect and support military assets and pilots and undertake a wide range of activities across large distances, including performing combat roles.

“More than 200 Australian companies have already contributed to the MQ-28A program, including more than 50 small and medium enterprises within the supply chain,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy. “This project demonstrates that with the appropriate support from government, Australia’s defence industry can continue to be a world leader and a key source of jobs.

“This is the first military aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years and underscores the depth of innovation and expertise in our defence industry.”

Defence is now moving forward with the next stage of the program, including delivery of three Block 2 aircraft which have an enhanced design and improved capabilities. This funding boost will enable a focus on developing sensor and mission payloads, an integrated combat system and autonomous systems.

The additional funding also secures over 350 jobs across Australia and will ensure ongoing work for over 200 suppliers.

More than 70 per cent of the MQ-28A Ghost Bat delivery program is being directed towards Australian industry content, delivering substantial benefits to local companies and their highly skilled workforces.

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