F-35 maintenance contracts awarded locally

A number of defence suppliers have been awarded contracts to repair, maintain and upgrade components on the F-35 Lightning fighter plane now coming into service with the RAAF.

Announcing the contracts, defence minister, Christopher Pyne and defence industry minister, Steven Ciobo said they were evidence of the global competitiveness of Australian industry.

Most were regional contracts, either for the South Pacific or Asia Pacific. An Asia Pacific warehouse will also be set up here.

Pyne said: “Australian companies have been awarded 343 out of a possible 388 components in the latest tranche of assignments – a significant achievement and a major boost for our economy.”

“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.”

Seven companies share contracts – Northrop Grumman Australia, BAE Systems Australia, General Electric Aviation, NIOA, MOOG Australia, RUAG Australia and Survitec Group.

The contracts cover:

•Air Vehicle Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade for the Southern Pacific Region

•Propulsion System Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade for the Asia-Pacific Region

•Component Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade of 64 out of 65 Tier 1 components

Pyne said Australia was in a prime position to be F-35 maintenance hub for the region.

The contracts come on top of $1.3 billion in contracts from F-35 design and production work.

Picture: Defence/F-35

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