BAE Systems Australia has produced the 15,000th titanium part at Edinburgh Parks in South Australia for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.

The company’s Australian operations supply F-35 components to both its UK business and to Victorian manufacturer Marand.

Parts produced by the company include tail sets, aft fuselage and horizontal tail sets. Together, these parts form the rear section of each F-35 aircraft.

The company noted that it will continue to manufacture vertical tail parts at the Edinburgh Parks site for another 20 years.

The continuing association with F-35 programme has encouraged the company to invest in ‘bespoke’ titanium machining facilities at Edinburgh Parks.

BAE Systems Australia defence delivery managing director Andrew Gresham said: “We are undertaking very complex and advanced manufacturing in a way that is cost effective and globally competitive.

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“Digitisation will be the next big step change to further improve our competitiveness by allowing us to collaborate seamlessly with our suppliers and partners in real time.

“This will mean that we can identify and resolve issues faster, improve risk management and optimise production.”

The firm produces components for the Australian designed Nulka active missile decoy and Raytheon’s Evolved Sea Sparrow missile.

Meanwhile, BAE Systems achieved another milestone with the delivery of the 500th aft fuselage for the F-35 aircraft from its production facilities in Samlesbury, Lancashire, UK.

The company has claimed that it supplies nearly 15% of each F-35 jet built.

The F-35 JSF is a global programme led by Lockheed Martin and involves several countries.