Lockheed Martin Australia and the ADF have today signed Strategic Deed and an Integration, Maintenance and Administration Services (IMAS) contract to provide sovereign sustainment of the RAAF’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II fighters for an initial five year period.
The signing consolidates existing autonomic logistics information system (ALIS) support arrangements that were previously facilitated by the US F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), and will bring them under a contract managed directly between the ADF and Lockheed Martin Australia.
“This is a significant milestone towards achieving initial operating capacity for the F-35A,” Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said in a statement. “It delivers a more responsive and cost-effective solution for key aspects of Australian F-35A maintenance management, and will create up to 60 jobs, in the Canberra, Adelaide, Hunter and Katherine regions.”
The Strategic Deed follows on from a heads of agreement signed in February, and is the first of its kind to be signed by the Commonwealth, and provides a contractual framework that will underpin all subsequent F-35 sustainment contracts in Australia.
The IMAS contract is the first contract to be signed under the Strategic Deed, and appoints Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver ALIS support including administration services, mission combat system support and cyber accreditation for Australia’s F-35 program.
“As the original equipment manufacturer and lead sustainment partner globally, we are proud to partner with the Department of Defence to lead sustainment support for the Australian F-35 program,” Interim Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Scott Thompson said in a separate release.
“Our new contracts with the Department of Defence are an important step in developing 5th Generation sovereign capability, providing opportunity for potentially billions of dollars’ worth of new sustainment contracts for local industry.”