Milestone for Australian F-35 manufacturer

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (Image: Lockheed Martin)

Australia’s third F-35A aircraft has rolled off the assembly line at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, marking another milestone for Australian defence manufacturing.

Defence Industry minister Christopher Pyne said No. 3 Squadron markings were applied to the aircraft in early November, the final stage in the production process before the aircraft undergoes several weeks of ground and flight testing at Fort Worth.

“The completion of our third Joint Strike Fighter is a significant achievement for Australia’s F-35A Project,” Pyne said.

“It is particularly exciting that a key component – the tail piece – was manufactured in Australia, by Australian company, Marand Engineering.”

Further opportunities for Australian Industry to participate in the F-35 Program through regional assignments for the repair of the second tranche of aircraft components are expected to be announced in 2018.

“As the programme matures more and more parts on Joint Strike Fighters going to countries around the world will come from Australia,” Pyne continued.

“More than 50 Australian companies have directly shared in more than $800 million in production contracts thus far, while hundreds more are indirectly benefiting through supply chains.”