Ground broken for Boeing’s Ghost Bat factory


Boeing has begun construction at the Toowoomba site where it will build the MQ-28 Ghost Bat, the first first military combat aircraft to be designed and made in Australia in more than a half century.

Queensland was selected as the state to host the build of the uncrewed plane in 2020, with Wellcamp Airport selected for a new factory in September 2021. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Boeing said that the 9,000 square metre facility at the Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct is expected to be operational “in the next three years”, and Boeing Australia posted on X (formerly Twitter) that ground had been broken.

“Boeing Australia is investing to bring this innovative, uncrewed capability to market in the timeframe that supports our customers’ future needs,” said Amy List, the recently-appointed managing director of Boeing Defence Australia. 

“The MQ-28 is designed to transform air combat and provide affordable mass for Australia and our allies.”

The MQ-28 was formerly known as the Loyal Wingman until March 2021, and was developed by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force consortium of over 35 Australian participants, including BAE Systems, Ferra Engineering and RUAG Australia. 

The site will be Boeing’s first final assembly facility outside of North America, added List, “indicative of our global focus and a continued commitment to a sustainable and robust Australian aerospace industry.”

Construction of the facility is being managed by privately-owned Wagner Corporation, which owns the precinct. 

Picture: artist’s impression of the factory (credit Boeing)

Further reading

Ghost Bat manufacture within 2-3 years – Boeing

More grants to Boeing for Ghost Bat jet manufacture

Ambition of Boeing Defence and Wellcamp Airport revealed – video

Boeing selects Wellcamp Airport for ‘first site of its kind outside North America’

Boeing Defence Australia names new Managing Director

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