Australian industry has been allocated a large proportion of the next round of regional F-35 JSF program Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade (MRO&U) workshare awards.
Of the 388 component work assignments awarded in the Asia-Pacific region, Australian companies have been awarded 343 of them.
The latest component repair awards have been granted to BAE Systems Australia, Northrop Grumman Australia, General Electric Aviation, MOOG Australia, RUAG Australia, NIOA, and Survitec. The components covered include avionics, aircraft composites, electric components. Valves, electro optical sensors, auxiliary power unit, hydraulics, landing gear, munitions and weapons, pumps, life support, and the canopy.
“This announcement again proves that our defence industry can equal and beat the best in the world when it comes to sustaining complex aviation assets,” Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said in a statement. “I welcome the United States Government further commitment to Australia as a regional hub for the maintenance of the F-35 JSF.”
The latest awards follow a 2017 announcement that the Asia-Pacific warehouse for the F-35 would be located in Australia, and that air vehicle, propulsion and component MRO&U would be performed in Australia. Not only does this cover the RAAF’s 72 F-35As, but also potentially several hundred more F-35s to be operated by Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and forward-deployed USAF, US Navy and USMC aircraft.
“The collaborative approach taken by the Australian Government and industry has been the key to the success in securing additional F-35 sustainment work for Australian business,” BAE Systems CEO Gabby Costigan said. “It will put Australia at the forefront of F-35 component sustainment.
“We look forward to working closely with the JPO and Lockheed Martin on delivering this additional part of our support to an exciting global program.”
Northrop Grumman Australia interim chief executive Warren King added, “Northrop Grumman Australia continues to be fully committed to growing its in-country technical sustainment workforce and capabilities, and this work will allow us to continue supporting the RAAF’s mission and the Australian defence industry at large.
“We are grateful to our industry teammates, the Australian JSF Division, the Commonwealth government, and the US JPO for this recognition.”