Australian industry participation in the F-35 program

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The partnership between Defence and industry in delivering the transformational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) capability to Australia is being showcased in a series of videos in the lead up to the Australian International Airshow at Avalon.

There are Australian-built components in every F-35 aircraft produced, with over 50 Australian companies involved and total Australian production contracts now reaching over AUD$1.2 billion.

Deputy Director Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Nathan Booth, of the JSF Division, said each of the companies involved in the video project had played an important role in the F-35 Program.

“These videos tell the story of each company’s work as part of the F-35 Program and how their contribution fits into the broader global supply chain,” Mr Booth said.

"The audience will hear from the people driving Australia’s fifth-generation aircraft production, from machinists operating multi-million dollar titanium machining equipment through to captains of industry, the Minister for Defence and Chief of Air Force.

“When speaking to people as I visited each company’s site, I was overwhelmed by the commitment and drive across the board. Australian-made parts will be fitted to every F-35 produced by Lockheed Martin and Australian industry takes pride in this.”

Sue Cattermole, General Manager at the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), said the F-35 Program was a unique opportunity for Australian industry to participate in all stages of the capability lifecycle, from design to sustainment.

“The CDIC has been an important partner supporting Australian industry participation in the F-35 Program’s global supply chain,” Ms Cattermole said.

“The combined efforts of JSF Division’s industry team and the CDIC have been instrumental in bringing about a cultural shift in the way industry and Defence work together to maximise Australia’s export opportunities in major Defence programs."

“The aim is to maximise Australia’s export opportunities by engaging with program requirements and matching those requirements with domestic industrial capabilities.”

Ms Cattermole said the CDIC, and the Defence Industry Innovation Centre before it, had enabled Australian businesses to find competitive advantages, diversification and entry into export markets, and had been successful in championing the contribution Australian industry could make to leading-edge military technology and capability.

The JSF Division and Air Force’s No. 28 Squadron led production of the videos, with support from the CDIC and industry partners.

Mr Booth thanked everyone involved in the video project for their support.

“I’d particularly like to thank members of the video production team from No. 28 Squadron for their professionalism and support – Air Force is the capability manager of the F-35 and it was impressive to see that we have such a talented resource within the service.”