Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston today welcomed the announcement by the US Department of Defense that Australia has been selected to provide support to Joint Strike Fighters (F-35) in the Asia Pacific Region.
Senator Johnston said with the JSF Program now maturing, the focus was increasingly turning to sustainment and how the aircraft would be supported around the globe.
“The US Department of Defense has determined that Australian industry will provide support to both JSF airframes and engines in the Asia Pacific region,” Senator Johnston said.
“The JSF is the most advanced and complex fighter aircraft in development or production in the world.
“Australia being selected to provide regional support reflects the world-leading capabilities our Defence and Aerospace industries possess, it is an outstanding endorsement. Australia is well placed to be assigned further work as part of the F-35 global support system.”
Senator Johnston said the maintenance work will likely be based at RAAF Base Amberley and RAAF Base Williamtown.
The JSF is a fifth generation fighter that will ensure the Royal Australian Air Force maintains a leading edge air combat capability.
The announcement comes on top of the US$432 million that Australian companies have won in production and development contracts to date.
Senator Johnston said as a result of the Howard Government’s decision to join during the development phase, Australian defence industry stands to win well in excess of $1.5 billion in JSF-related production and support work over the life of the program.
“In fact, Australian participation in the JSF program as a partner has resulted in an Australian part in almost every JSF produced,” Senator Johnston said.
“It represents another positive economic benefit of Australia’s participation in the JSF Program.”
Rebecca Horton (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 554
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999