In Depth

F-35 Programs Spurs Growth for HTA

February 27, 2017

Ten years ago, Karen Stanton took a risk with her family business. She and her brother, who co-own the business, invested millions of dollars into research and development to expand HTA’s capabilities into the aerospace and defense segment.

At the time, there was a gap in the Australian industry’s aerospace manufacturing capabilities – and Karen recognized that gap.

“We knew the F-35 program would be a major opportunity for progress, so we invested in growing our capabilities and expanding our facilities and our teams,” Karen says.

Since then, HTA has indeed expanded and grown both its personnel and facilities base.

“We’ve grown from 40 to 60 employees in just the last two years, which may not seem like a lot, but for a small company like us, is a huge deal,” Karen explains. And this 50% employee growth is only the beginning.

In fact, HTA just recently opened a facility dedicated solely to aerospace and defense manufacturing. The facility contains new high-tech equipment, is accredited by internationally-recognized quality organizations, and will further expand HTA’s portfolio of manufacturing capabilities.

“We wouldn’t be launching a new facility if it weren’t for the F-35 program. If we look back and try to say what the turning point was for HTA, it was the F-35,” Karen says. “It spurred a growth and a change in the whole Australian aerospace and defense market that has been really beneficial for us.”

Karen also gives credit to HTA’s entire team for everything the company has achieved in the last several years.

“We have some very talented people on our team, and their skills – from engineering to metallurgy to quality – have been key to our success.”

As for the F-35’s debut at Avalon 2017, Karen says employees are enthusiastic. “Our employees are continuing to see the program grow and they’re getting excited about the program overall and especially the debut.”