Minister for Defence - Joint Strike Fighter regional support in Australia

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The Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Defence

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10 February 2015

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews today congratulated both BAE Systems Australia and TAE on securing regional maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade responsibilities for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter airframe and engine.

Mr Andrews said BAE Systems Australia was one of Australia’s leading Defence firms and had been a long standing provider of sustainment services to a range of military aircraft.

Based out of RAAF Base Amberley, TAE is a leading aerospace engine maintenance service provider, supporting both military and commercial aircraft in the Asia Pacific region.

“This follows the announcement by the US Department of Defense last December that Australia had been assigned regional support for the F-35,” Mr Andrews said.

“The F-35 is the most advanced fighter aircraft in development or production anywhere in the world and securing this work in Australia is a great outcome for these companies.

“This announcement comes on top of the US$433 million that Australian companies have won in production and development contracts to date.

“It represents another positive economic benefit of Australia’s participation in the F-35 Program.”

Mr Andrews said Australia’s first two aircraft were at the international pilot training centre at Luke Air Force Base Arizona and Australia’s first pilot had also commenced training in the United States.

“With the F-35 global support system now being stood up and with our first aircraft due to arrive in Australia in 2018, the next few years will see more opportunities for Australian industry to support not only Australia’s F-35s but those in our region and around the globe,” Mr Andrews said.

“The assignment of regional maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade responsibility to BAE and TAE will enable them to demonstrate the capability and capacity of Australian industry to support this leading edge capability.”  

Media contacts:

Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews' Office)             (02) 6277 7800             0417 917 796

Defence Media Operations                                     (02) 6127 1999

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