Australian SMEs have increased their penetration of the global F-35 Lightning supply chain with the award of a new contract to Chemring Australia.
The Geelong company won a $168.4 million (USD$107.5 million) contract with the US Navy to manufacture countermeasure flares for Australian, US and international operators of the F-35.
The flares are launched by the aircraft to confuse heat seeking and guided missiles.
Chemring and its subcontractor, composites producer Quickstep, had previously been funded by the US and Australia to reduce costs associated with the countermeasures and their housings.
Chemring has expanded its countermeasure and pyrotechnic manufacturing facility in Lara with the assistance of a $1.2 million Victorian government Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) grant.
Since 2011, Chemring Group and Defence have worked closely with the US Navy’s Naval Air System team to qualify Chemring Australia as the second source supplier of the MJU-68 countermeasure, and MJU-61 training flares.
Defence industry minister Melissa Price said: “With Defence assistance, the company has expanded its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Victoria.
“From this solid foundation, Chemring Australia has successfully grown their exports to the United States, with its workforce growing as a result by 70 per cent to almost 100 people in the last 12 months.”
To date, more than 50 Australian companies have won production contracts as part of the global F-35 Program, employing over 2,400 Australians.
Picture: Chemring Australia
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