F-35 manufacturing (photo : Defense Industry Daily)
The next generation fighter planes being for built Australia, the US, the UK and six other countries will have parts made in Bankstown.
The Boeing site at Bankstown Airport will be taken over by Perth manufacturer Quickstep, and is likely to inject more than half a billion dollars and lead to the creation of up to 400 jobs.
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare said $10 million in assistance from the Federal Government had helped lure Quickstep to Bankstown.
“The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is a long-range stealth fighter. It’s the future of fighter planes and part of that will be made here in Bankstown,” Mr Clare said.
“Australia is partnering with the US and seven other countries to deliver this next generation fighter plane.”
Mr Clare said Quickstep had today signed a Long Term Agreement with Northrop Grumman – one of the major multi-national Defence companies building the JSF.
“That’s terrific news for Bankstown. Around 3,000 of these planes are expected to be built over the next 20 years and Quickstep plans to build parts for many of them.”
The Long Term Agreement is a binding agreement under which individual contracts are awarded for different components of the JSF.
The agreement now means Quickstep is in a position to secure up to $580 million worth of work over the next 20 years, building:
· access panels;
· fuel tank covers;
· aircraft skins; and
· in-board weapons bay doors.
Quickstep has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Marand Precision Engineering to supply composite vertical tail skins for the JSF.
Australia has already committed to buying 14 JSF planes.
A Government decision to acquire at least 58 more to form the first three operational squadrons and a training unit will be made in 2012.
Mr Clare said this agreement built on others being made to secure work for Australian companies.
“I’m also happy to announce that I recently signed a Global Supply Deed with Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the JSF project,” Mr Clare said.
“Under the agreement Lockheed Martin will put in place a team of people dedicated to finding opportunities for Australian companies on top of the JSF project.
“Lockheed Martin is one of the biggest Defence companies in the world, employing 136,000 people.
“They’re in charge of some big and important projects around the world and this gives Australian companies access to the work that flows out of that.
“It’s a chance for Australian companies to take their expertise to the world.”