BAE Systems’ Adelaide plant has been deemed fit to manufacture critical airframe components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program in the US.
The company’s Edinburgh Parks site passed a Production Readiness Review (PRR), conducted by representatives from Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems UK and Marand, to manufacture for the defence project.
The successful PRR places South Australia firmly in the JSF Program’s global supply chain.
BAE Systems Land & Integrated Systems director Kim Scott said the manufacturer has so far delivered more than 370 Vertical Tail parts, comprising 13 aircraft ship sets for the JSF project, from its Edinburgh Parks manufacturing facility in northern Adelaide.
"Achieving this key milestone of PRR means we are a step closer towards Full Rate Production, which would involve further production readiness assessments. At full rate production we will be delivering 70 aircraft sets per annum, with over 30 parts in each set,” said Scott.
Manufacturing times can range from one hour to 50 hours per component. These parts consist of highly complex shapes and fine tolerance features requiring the latest five Axis Machining technology available today, Scott said.
"BAE Systems Australia has a proven track record in successfully delivering parts direct to the JSF Vertical Tail production line in time for production. To date, all ship sets delivered have met the stringent quality standards and customer schedule expectations,” he said.
"Continuing to deliver to our current performance level should lead to more JSF manufacturing opportunities in avionics and airframe parts, which will also have flow on benefits to Australia's SME community.”
Just yesterday, Brisbane company TAE signed a long-term agreement with Harris Corporation for the manufacture and supply of liquid-cooled electronics enclosures for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The deal has the potential to be worth more than $15 million, and will make use of TAE’s Aluminium Vacuum Brazing technology.
Headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland, TAE is the first Australian company to have successfully developed the Aluminium Vacuum Brazing technology.
The electronics enclosures produced by TAE have attracted the attention of local and global manufacturers of military and commercial passenger aircraft, as well as stakeholders in the maritime and land vehicle sectors.
Another Australian company doing extremely well from the JSF project is Quickstep Holdings, which kicked-off a 20-year supply agreement last week, for a variety of F-35 components, including a large number of composite doors and panels using the company's Quickstep Process.