F-35 in RAAF colour scheme (photo : Australian Aviation)
AVALON, Australia, (UPI) -- BAE Systems Australia and Marand have signed a deal for the supply of vertical tails for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.The long-term agreement is the largest, highest-value package of industrial work on the F-35 program in Australia and is another link in the Australia supply chain for the advanced fighter aircraft.
The agreement is worth $802 million of high-tech export business for the aerospace industry in Australia over the life of the program, with subsequent contracts being let yearly, BAE said.
Under the agreement BAE Systems Australia will machine the vertical tail titanium components in Adelaide. Marand, which has headquarters in Victoria, will be the in-country lead for the manufacture of the 722 vertical tail fins and will undertake final assembly of the titanium parts.
"The BAE Systems team and Marand have worked together successfully on the F-35 for the past four years including the last 18 months on the vertical tails," said BAE Systems Group Managing Director -- International Guy Griffiths.
"This long-term agreement will bring more work into Australia. It underscores not only our confidence in the F-35 program but also in our continuing relationship with Marand."