Joint Strike Fighter advances manufacturing growth in SA

Image credit: BAE Systems Australia

BAE Systems Australia has celebrated the production of the 15,000th titanium part produced at Edinburgh Parks in South Australia for one of its largest defence programs, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The parts produced in Australia include more than 500 tail sets, which with the aft fuselage and horizontal tail sets, make up the rear section of each jet.

BAE Systems supplies F-35 components globally through its United Kingdom business and Victorian manufacturer Marand.

“Australia’s strength is in its ability of manufacturers to excel in the production of highly specialised products,” said Andrew Gresham, BAE Systems managing director defence delivery.

“We are undertaking very complex and advanced manufacturing in a way that is cost effective and globally competitive.”

As well as manufacturing a range of products for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the company produces bespoke components for other critically important Defence programs including the Nulka decoy and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.

Securing decades of work on the global F-35 program has underpinned the company‘s investment in bespoke titanium machining facilities at Edinburgh Parks, which was also supported by the South Australian Government.

“Digitalisation will be the next big step change to further improve our competitiveness by allowing us to collaborate seamlessly with our suppliers and partners in real time,” Andrew said.

“This will mean that we can identify and resolve issues faster, improve risk management, and optimise production.”

BAE Systems has been providing one of the most technology-led defence, aerospace, and security solutions to the Australian Defence Force for more than 65 years.