16 November 2016
The first F-35A aircraft is due to arrive in Australia in 2018. (photo : Lockheed Martin)
In a major coup for the national Defence Industry, Australia has won 10 of the initial 11 component categories available to partner countries for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter regional sustainment. Starting in 2025, RUAG Australia will have lead responsibility within the Pacific Region for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of Joint Strike Fighter components in four Repair Technology Groups - Valves (RTG F), Auxiliary Power Systems (RTG G), Landing Gear Components (RTG L) and Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Pneudraulics & Hydro-Mechanical (RTG H) – all of which are consistent with RUAG Australia’s core capabilities.
As a significant, long-standing provider of in-country component maintenance and repair capabilities to the Australian Defence Force, RUAG Australia is extremely well qualified to now extend such services to the regional Joint Strike Fighter fleet and is particularly appreciative of the recognition accorded to RUAG Australia by the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office.
The assignments to RUAG Australia are the result of three years of discussion and close collaboration by RUAG Australia staff with Joint Strike Fighter component Original Equipment Manufacturers, including Honeywell, UTC Aerospace Systems, Eaton, Moog and Parker, and with its industry partners and suppliers in Australia, including TAE and H.I.Fraser. RUAG Australia also acknowledges the consistent support provided to Australian industry by Defence’s Joint Strike Fighter Division and the strong advocacy for Australian companies by the Hon Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry.
“This assignment is a genuine reflection of the quality and skill of our people and the treasured reputation for reliable service that they have developed over many years of serving the military customer,” said John Teager, Managing Director of RUAG Australia. “The Joint Strike Fighter will be the cornerstone of the Royal Australian Air Force, and a number of other air forces, for many years to come. RUAG Australia is committed to being a successful and valued member of the global team supporting the platform,” he added.
“We look forward to collaborating with our chosen partners in delivering the best possible Australian contribution to the Joint Strike Fighter program, both in terms of manufacturing and deeper level repair. There is still much work to be done before component repair assignment becomes actual work, but the laying of the foundation can never start too early. We will continue to extend and broaden our existing manufacturing contracts as well as bidding, alongside our partners, for additional Joint Strike Fighter sustainment opportunities as they emerge.”