F-35 fighter jet strikes $1bn for Australian business

Production of the F-35 fleet and the wider Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program has awarded Australian industry $1 billion in collective contracts.

The program, which will support up to 5,000 national jobs by 2023, has involved more than 50 Australian companies, which have directly and indirectly benefitted along the supply chain.

“Australian industry continues to prove its global competitiveness by performing better than initial forecasts, with Australian industry involvement expected to exceed $2 billion by 2023,” said Defence Industry minister Christopher Pyne.

“The journey of Australian industry’s involvement in the global F-35 Program has been one of great success and long-term economic opportunity for Australia.”

In 2016 the Joint Strike Fighter program supported more than 2400 jobs across Australia.

Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase production contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates more than double.

Australian industry is manufacturing parts that will be fitted to every F-35 aircraft in production across the globe.

As well as manufacturing parts, the wider Australian industry has also been chosen as the maintenance hub for the engines, airframes and 64 of 65 components, which have been assigned by the Joint Project Office.

“When I travel to the US in April I will be arguing for more work for Australia, we have the capability and we deserve the work,” Pyne said.

The first two Australian F-35A aircraft are scheduled to arrive for permanent basing at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, in December.