The Australian Department of Defence has announced that Victoria-based Air Fab has received a contract to build aircraft safety stands.

The stands will be used in the maintenance of the F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growler aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Air Fab received the A$1.3m contract with Boeing Defence Australia (BDA). It will be responsible for the design, fabrication and supply of the safety stands.

Australia Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds stated that the safety stands will offer better fall protection for the personnel of RAAF and Boeing during aircraft maintenance.

Reynolds stated: “Using their unique manufacturing capability, Air Fab will build five sets of aircraft equipment from its facility in Ferntree Gully.

“With eight employees, Air Fab is an excellent example of the ingenuity of Australian small business in helping not only keep our personnel safe, but in helping to get Australia’s frontline fighter aircraft back into the air quicker.

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“I’m proud to be part of a government that unashamedly backs Australian industry and Australian workers.”

The equipment is slated to be produced according to Australia’s Workplace Health & Safety standards.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price added that the department had previously partnered with BDA in 2016 for the sustainment of the RAAF’s 24 F/A-18F Super Hornet and 11 EA-18G Growler aircraft.

Last month, Australia announced that it aimed to declare F-35A Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by December as the majority of pilots have returned following joint training in the US.