Collins Aerospace’s Australian arm has achieved a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,000th 360° situational awareness system for the global F‑35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Delivered to the US, the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (EODAS) optical assembly serves as the aircraft’s eyes.

It is designed to offer a complete spherical view of the surroundings for the pilot.

Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “The F-35s are the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world, which will deliver next-generation capability benefits and provide a major boost to air combat capability.

“The EODAS optical assembly is critical to detecting threats, by warning the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats and providing day / night vision and fire control capability.

“It collects real-time, high-resolution imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the F-35 and sends it to the pilot’s helmet-mounted display.”

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price stated that more than 50 companies from Australia have participated in over A$1.7bn in F-35A production contracts around the globe so far.

The Australian defence industry is producing parts for each F-35A fighter jet.

Price said: “Collins Aerospace (Australia) has already manufactured an estimated 50% of the optical assemblies for Northrop Grumman Corporation this year.

“The Australian arm of Collins Aerospace has also opened a new facility to perform maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade, as well as specialised component manufacturing, for the F-35 flight simulators’ ProSim projectors.

“This facility in Lane Cove, Sydney, will lead to the creation of up to eight new full-time jobs and a multimillion-dollar revenue stream.”

Last year, Collins Aerospace Systems received a contract to provide its avionics system for the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-130H military transport aircraft fleet.