24 Oktober 2015
RAAF F-35 Lightning II (photo : Aus DoD)
Australia has achieved another significant milestone in contributing to production work for the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.
Under a long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation valued at US$15 million, BAE Systems Australia has begun exporting high-end circuit boards and sub-system assemblies for the F-35.
The agreement will allow the Adelaide based company to export parylene–coated circuit boards, which will be used in the JSF’s Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI) system developed by Northrop Grumman. The parylene coating protects the boards from the harsh conditions in the aerospace environment.
Australia’s JSF Program Manager, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Chris Deeble, said that participation and collaboration from Australian defence industry will be critical to delivering and sustaining the new F-35 JSF aircraft.
“As the largest Defence Program in the world, with thousands of F-35s planned for production globally over next 25 years, Defence has been working closely with Australian industry to promote participation in the development, acquisition and delivery phases,” AVM Deeble said.
BAE Systems is one of some 30 Australian companies who have been providing component, sub-systems and engineering solutions for the JSF program.
“I congratulate BAE Systems Australia on achieving this milestone and their commitment to gain qualification with Northrop Grumman for the JSF program,” said AVM Deeble.
Australian industry is already surpassing the expectations of international JSF manufacturers in design and production having secured more than half a billion Australian dollars (US$484 million) of work with more opportunities to come as production triples over the coming years.
Defence estimates that Australian industry will win at least US$1.5 billion in orders over the production phase of the JSF program.