09 November 2016
Australia has been assigned responsibilities for certain F-35 component repairs. (photo : Lockheed Martin)
CANBERRA (Xinhua) — Australia has been chosen to provide maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade for the components of the Joint Strike Fighter in the Asia Pacific Region, announced Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne on Tuesday.
Pyne said this contract will create and sustain hundreds if not thousands of jobs, bringing about 100 million Australian dollars (77 million U.S. dollars) to the economy.
The announcement was made after Pyne paid a visit to Washington and met with key Pentagon officials to push Australia’s case.
The United States had announced that Australia is one of four countries which will be a regional hub for the maintenance of the Joint Strike Fighter.
The Australian government has made defence industry a major part of its economic plan, expecting it to promote the development of the country’s high skilled, advanced manufacturing sector.
Partner countries in the Joint Strike Fighter program were asked to bid in 11 component categories, Australia was successful in 10.
The Joint Strike Fighter program has been lucrative for Australia to date, with Australian industry already achieving more than 800 million Australian dollars (616 million U.S. dollars) in contracts from F-35 design and production work.
Pyne expected that being part of the Joint Strike Fighter program will open the door for the F-35 Global Support supply chain and cements Australia as a key strategic partner in the global F-35 enterprise.