Australian Defence Force – KC-30A Local Conversion Initiative

Project date: April 2020

Our client delivers sustainment services to a range of military aircraft fleets for the Australian Defence Force and is the incumbent Through Life Support (TLS) contractor for the existing KC-30A fleet.

Size of team




The Challenge

Upon the onset of COVID-19, the aviation industry went into near freefall. Local airlines Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar and Rex all were forced to ground their fleets. With little prospect of returning flight schedules to normal for potentially years, Australian airports became cluttered with grounded commercial aircraft and airlines began to look at efforts to build a ‘during-COVID-19’ and ‘post-COVID-19’ model that would allow them to survive and continue sustainably. This pointed to reducing aircraft numbers, staffing and so forth.

Our client decided to pitch an unsolicited proposal to Defence offering to buy commercial Airbus A330 aircraft from Qantas and Virgin, as well as employing a number of their specialist staff who were facing redundancy. Our client’s offering: (1) aligned with the Australian Government’s COVID-19 economic relief strategy; (2) proposed to procure commercial aircraft and staff from the airlines, partially offering a solution; and (3) would fast-track RAAF’s KC-30A delivery, of which they were already planning to procure new KC-30As from Airbus Defence (converted by our client).

The Solution

A Salentis team, comprising a Senior Associate Writer and a Design Lead (Graphic Artist), worked closely with the client to clearly articulate their offering into a compelling proposal.

The Impact

The client was delighted that they were able to offer an unsolicited bid to Defence that cost them less than they had budgeted for and was delivered on schedule.

Article published: February 2021

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