By: Aaron Mehta
WASHINGTON — The Netherlands and Australia will serve as regional centers of F-35 equipment as part of the fifth-generation fighter’s global footprint, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
The move is part of a broader plan, launched in 2014, to create service hubs around the world for the various F-35 users. Countries have bid on the right to host parts of the sustainment program — such as Italy having a final assembly and check-out facility, or Japan having a heavy maintenance facility — because of the impact such facilities could have on local economies.
This particular aspect of the sustainment network will handle inventory management for Europe and the Pacific. Parts and supplies will be held and organized at these hubs, then shipped to various nations in the region, as opposed to those parts being shipped from manufacturers around the globe in what the program office says will be a cost-saving measure.
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