Three Australian companies have signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Lockheed Martin for joint strike fighter (JSF) work.

According to the MoU, the firms will produce over 800 complete sets of F-35 vertical tails and a range of JSF fuselage composite components.

Australian Acting Minister for Defence Greg Combet said that Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering would work with JSF newcomer Quickstep Holdings from Perth and BAE Systems (Australia) in Adelaide on the vertical tails.

“To date, 25 Australian companies have won more than $220m in JSF work, primarily in design and production of the 19 test aircraft and associated support equipment,” he said.

Lockheed has signed a second MoU with Quickstep and Northrop for the planned production of JSF composite doors and panels.

The RAAF joined the international JSF programme in 2002, and is expected to acquire around 100 aircraft to replace its Hornets and F-111s from 2012.