TAE Aerospace based at Bundamba in Ipswich, Australia, has conducted routine maintenance of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) first F‑35A engine fan module.

With the latest development, the Australian defence industry has achieved a milestone in the maintenance of the RAAF new F-35A Lighting II fighter jets.

The maintenance of the jets highlighted the growing capability of defence companies in the country.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “By maintaining and repairing the F-35 engines in Australia, we can get these planes back in the air quicker, while also creating skilled jobs for many Australians.

“And in a world first, this type of engine work was the first to ever be completed outside of the US, representing a significant new step for TAE Aerospace and the Australian defence industry.

“TAE’s recent achievements are a testament to the importance of defence industry in contributing to our economy, and our footprint in the global F-35 programme.”

Last month, the RAAF’s F-35A fighter aircraft reached another milestone by completing 1,000 flying hours over the skies of Arizona, US. In 2014, the aircraft was manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Texas, US.

During the same month, the Australian Government funded three companies to increase their involvement in the global Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 programme and continue to fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

NuMetric, trading as Axiom was one among the three companies that secured more than A$800,000 ($553,240) to purchase new technical equipment and train staff for its operation.