Joint Strike Fighter program creating Australian jobs

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Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Defence

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Prime Minister’s office: Press Office – (02) 6277 7744

Minister Pyne’s office: Rory Grant - 0439 764 809

Minister Payne’s office: Henry Budd - 0429 531 143

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4 March 2017

The Turnbull Government’s investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, Australia’s new air combat capability, will double the existing associated workforce to 5,000.

Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne and the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, today welcomed the arrival of Australia’s first two Joint Strike Fighters to the Avalon Airshow as a key addition to Australia’s strategic capability and a critical component of our $195 billion defence investment.

The Turnbull Government is purchasing and will maintain 72 aircraft as part of the global Joint Strike Fighter program which will give the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) unprecedented capability in the air to combat future threats to our nation.

The Joint Strike Fighter program will create 2,600 extra defence industry jobs by 2023, more than doubling the current associated workforce of 2,400, and provide a multi-million dollar economic injection into the Australian economy.

The F-35's cutting edge stealth technology, sensors and the ability to share information across advanced networks will significantly strengthen the RAAF’s combat ability.

Acquiring F-35 aircraft will also reinforce the ability of our Air Force to operate seamlessly with the United States and our Coalition partners to support our shared strategic interests.

The Turnbull Government also welcomes the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report detailing the significant positive impacts to the Australian economy generated by the F-35 Program. The report provides further proof that the Turnbull Government’s determination to grow a local defence industry will create thousands of jobs and drive economic growth.

The report found that by 2038, the Australian economy will be boosted by $1.2 billion (real GDP) as a result of spin-off benefits from the program and an additional 6,300 jobs will be supported across the Australian economy.

These forecasts do not take into account the recent decision by the United States to nominate Australia as the regional maintenance and sustainment hub for Asia Pacific for the Joint Strike Fighter program, which will create hundreds of further jobs across the economy.

The Government appreciates the cooperation of the United States Air Force Training Command and Lockheed Martin in ensuring our first two F-35A aircraft and their Australian air crew are at the 2017 Avalon Airshow to demonstrate this new lethal air force capability to the Australian public.

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