$100 million to be spent on F-35 maintenance in the Hunter


The federal government has signed a Facility Services Deed worth more than $100 million with BAE Systems Australia to expand its F-35A fighter aircraft depot maintenance capability at Newcastle Airport.

The deal will expand the facility from two to six maintenance bays, enabling BAE Systems Australia to ramp up to meet the forecast service and maintenance demand for Australia’s F-35A fleet.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said an increase in workforce in the Hunter would be needed.

“The construction at BAE System Australia’s existing South Hangar facility at Newcastle Airport site will provide opportunities for local jobs, to local suppliers and subcontractors.

“All 72 F-35A jets will be sustained and upgraded at this facility in Newcastle over the next three decades, bringing opportunities and jobs to the region for years to come.”

BAE Systems’ work on the F-35 program will support around 750 jobs directly and indirectly across Australia by 2025.

Conroy said: “Australia’s participation in the F-35 Global programme continues to deliver significant benefits to the Hunter region and broader national economy.

“To date, more than 70 Australian companies have won more than $3 billion in production and sustainment contracts as part of the global F-35 Programme.

Fifty-seven F-35A Lightning II jets have been accepted by Australia to date with the full fleet of 72 on track to be delivered by the end of 2023.

The Hunter maintenance depot will be expanded beyond six bays from 2026.


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