The first F-35 Lightning II to feature Australian-made vertical tails has rolled out of Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility.
Built by Melbourne-based manufacturing company Marand, the vertical tails are on F-35 AF-73, which emerged from Lockheed Martin’s aircraft final finishes facility on April 29.
“We are proud of this incredible milestone for our team and for the work our company has done to establish a unique capability in the field of aerostructures manufacturing,” Marand chief executive Rohan Stocker said in a statement.
“Our work not only serves the Australian Defence industry, but also creates high technology Australian jobs.”
Lockheed said in a statement on May 12 it was one of the largest manufacturing projects for the Australian F-35 program, with 722 ship sets planned.
BAE Systems contracted the work on the vertical tails to Marand, which is the largest Australian supplier on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme. Marand is also the global sole source of the F-35 engine removal and installation trailer.