US company Boeing has selected Toowoomba as the preferred site for a military drone production facility - a deal worth up to $1 billion for Queensland's economy over 10 years.
It will be the first military combat aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in Australia in 50 years, and the facility will be the first of its type by Boeing outside of North America.
Boeing Australia, in partnership with the State Government, will establish the facility at Toowoomba's Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct.
There it will produce and assemble the Airpower Teaming System, also known as the Loyal Wingman, subject to defence orders.
Developed by Boeing in conjunction with the Defence Department and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Loyal Wingman is an uncrewed aircraft using artificial intelligence to work as a smart team with existing military aircraft to complement and extend airborne missions.
It provides fighter-like performance, measuring 11.7m long and able to fly more than 3700km.
Wagner Corporation expect the facility build will support around 300 construction jobs, with at least 70 high-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs to be created once the facility is operational.
There has been no discussion about the project's cost or how the cost will be shared.
This announcement follows the opening of Australia's first commercial drone flight testing facility at Cloncurry Airport in December, of which Boeing was a first user.
Boeing Defence Australia vice president and managing director Scott Carpendale said the selection of Wellcamp Airport was indicative of the company's support for Australia's sovereign defence capabilities, supply chain and export opportunities.
"We're thinking long-term about this investment, which could assist Australia to gain future work share in other global defence and aerospace opportunities, in addition to the Loyal Wingman assembly," Mr Carpendale said.
Mr Carpendale said the Wellcamp location was attractive due to its access to a flight line, clear flying days, commercial flight access from major cities, and ability to support the rapid pace at which the Airpower Teaming System program was growing.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the facility would create new opportunities for Toowoomba.
"In choosing Wellcamp Airport, Boeing have taken an important step towards delivering their purpose-built final assembly facility," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"This has the potential to greatly improve our state's advanced manufacturing capability and help shape a workforce of Queenslanders with the skills to build some of the world's most cutting-edge aircraft."
Treasurer and Investment Minister Cameron Dick said the project could generate up to $1 billion for Queensland's economy over 10 years, with more than just defence industries to benefit.
Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said Boeing's selection of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport was a major boost for the region.
"Attracting investment and global companies such as Boeing to Toowoomba is recognition of the strategic advantages the Wellcamp Airport site offers, including access to the future Inland Rail," Mr Wagner said.
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