BAE Systems Australia has secured a A$300m contract to manage the Asia-Pacific regional warehouse of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) programme.
Under the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) F-35 Global Support Solution strategy, F-35 Lightning II regional warehousing capability has been assigned to Australia and the Netherlands.
Both the countries will take responsibility for optimising and managing the F-35 programme’s aviation inventory through warehouse and distribution centres in the European and Pacific regions.
The assignment is expected to create ten to 15 jobs in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
The Asia-Pacific region warehouse will be responsible for providing spares to all operational units in the region, including the JSF squadrons from Australia and visiting squadrons on deployment from other parts of the world.
Australia Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The Regional Warehouse will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown near the F-35 airframe depot maintenance facility for the South Asia-Pacific also assigned to BAE Systems Australia in December 2014.
“This announcement follows on the heels of Australia’s success in securing maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade for 64 out of 65 of available F-35 components in the first tranche of component repair assignments.”
To date, the Australian industry received more than A$800m in contracts for the F-35 design and production work.
The assignments for repair of the fighter aircraft’s second tranche of air vehicle components are expected to be announced next year.
Image: An F-35 aircraft taking off. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.