NSW manufacturer doubles production capacity for F-35 program

Photo: Lintek

Queanbeyan-based Lintek has developed a manufacturing system that doubles the production capacity of its printed circuit boards for phased array radar and electronic warfare systems, which forms part of the F-35 program.

Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, announced on Wednesday that Lintek’s enhanced capacity had increased their likelihood of winning further contracts in the F-35 global supply chain.

“This development is a terrific example of Australian defence industry’s ingenuity and commitment to enhancing our local aerospace manufacturing capability,” Price said.

“The Government is investing $200 billion in Australian defence industry, creating new jobs and delivering more opportunities for small business to export their capabilities overseas. So far, 50 Australian companies have shared in almost $1.7 billion in the production of the F-35 program.”

Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft in order to replace the ageing Classic Hornets that have been in service with the Royal Australian Air Force since 1985 with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The F35s are expected to change the face and capability of the RAAF and the wider Australian Defence Force, with their combination of full-spectrum low-observable stealth coatings and materials, advanced radar-dispersing shaping, network-centric sensor and communications suites – combined with a lethal strike capability.

Lintek employs about 50 people at their manufacturing plant. The company specialises in the production of high frequency printed circuit boards, used in commercial and defence applications.

Lintek’s unique manufacturing metaliser process results in the formation of extremely accurate features such as filters as required on high frequency printed circuit boards. Their method requires fewer process steps and uses less energy than traditional manufacturing methods.