FLYING Magazine

Boeing (NYSE: BA) is constructing a new facility in Australia to manufacture MQ-28 Ghost Bat combat drones.

The nearly 97,000-square-foot production facility located in Toowoomba, Queensland, is expected to be operational within three years, the company said Tuesday. According to Boeing, the new facility will include carbon fiber composite manufacturing, advanced robotic assembly for major components, along with final assembly and testing capabilities.

“Boeing Australia is investing to bring this innovative, uncrewed capability to market in the time frame that supports our customers’ future needs,” Amy List, managing director of Boeing Defence Australia, said in a statement. “The MQ-28 is designed to transform air combat and provide affordable mass for Australia and our allies.”

An artist’s impression of Boeing’s new MQ-28 Production Facility to be constructed in Toowoomba, Queensland. [Courtesy: Boeing]

An artist’s impression of Boeing’s new MQ-28 Production Facility to be constructed in Toowoomba, Queensland. [Courtesy: Boeing]

The 38-foot-long MQ-28 unmanned combat air vehicle has been in development for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) since 2019 and is considered a foundation of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.

READ MORE: Air Force Considers Pairing MQ-28 Ghost Bat Drone With Next-Gen Fighters

The uncrewed MQ-28 is the first military combat aircraft designed and developed in Australia in more than 50 years, Boeing said.

In 2022, RAAF officials unveiled the aircraft’s new name, which is a nod to the drone’s mission as well as its origin.

“A ghost bat is an Australian hunter that uses sophisticated multispectral sensors to detect, hunt, and kill prey both in the air and on the ground,” RAAF Air Vice-Marshal Robert Denney said at the time. “They team together in large numbers to confuse and overwhelm their adversaries and are native to Australia.”

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