New high-tech machining operation for JSF parts unveiled

BAE Systems has opened a new $8 million machining facility at Edinburgh Parks, which the company says will create parts for the Joint Strike Fighter program’s supply chain for the next two decades.

The ABC reports that the new, high-tech Starrag BTP5000 machining operation has been called the only of its type in the southern hemisphere. Machine tool company Starrag Group is headquartered in Switzerland.

The installation came about through collaboration between the South Australian government, Rosebank Engineering and BAE. It took six months to build at the site, weighs 200 tonnes and took up 23 shipping containers when being transported. It will make various tail parts.

“Bringing together BAE Systems and Rosebank to fill a niche capability in advanced manufacturing will deliver long-term benefits for South Australians,” said SA premier Jay Weatherill.

David Allott, CEO of BAE, said that the project was geared towards the company’s participation in the JSF F-35 project for the next 20 years.

“I am confident that our investment will provide opportunities to grow our manufacturing business in coming years,” the ABC reports him as saying.

“Having an expanded machining capability and increased production capacity, together with a highly skilled and experienced workforce, will help to secure new opportunities in aviation or commercial industries as well as future defence projects.”

The BTP Series is equipped with five-axis simultaneous machining, and was, according to Starrag, developed for the “machining of particularly long,complex titanium components for the aerospace industry“.

For a video of a BTP 5000 in action, click here.