Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly AM MP today addressed representatives of Australian companies at a Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) industry day outlining the benefits and opportunities associated with the multi-billion dollar program.
The Canberra event was attended by about 100 representatives from Australian industry, US companies involved in the F-35 program and US and Australian Government staff working on industry aspects of the F-35 program.
The Australian companies represented included those presently supplying components and services to the program as well as candidates for future sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force and world-wide F-35 fleet.
Dr Kelly told the audience the Australian Government is committed to the JSF program, the world’s largest military aerospace program ever undertaken.
“Australian industry is well placed to capitalise on the Government’s investment in the program, winning $329 million in contracts to date,” Dr Kelly said.
Over the past 12 months, the program has seen very steady progress and the production of aircraft is going very smoothly.
Dr Kelly said while Australian companies are currently bidding for work making parts for the construction of F-35 aircraft, in the near future there will be opportunities to bid for work associated with the maintenance and support of the world-wide F-35 fleet.
Dr Kelly congratulated Australian companies who have already secured contracts on the JSF, including Quickstep Technologies, Marand Precision Engineering, Lovitt Technologies, TAE, Ferra Engineering, Levett Engineering and Broens.
“Support provided by the Defence Materiel Organisation’s Industry Support Program, Skilling and Training Programs, as well as the Defence Materials Technology Centre and the Global Supply Chain Program have all helped Australian industry secure work,” Dr Kelly said.
“The ability of Australian companies to be ‘world class’ and cost competitive in high technology aerospace manufacturing processes requires world leading innovation and a highly trained and well managed workforce.”