Levett Engineering has secured a contract to manufacture components for the F135 turbofan engines that power Lockheed Martin‘s F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft, which is currently under production.

Awarded by Pratt & Whitney, the contract has a potential value of $200m over the life of the F-35 programme, and covers production of bearing housings, covers and related mechanical system components.

The company was previously awarded a contract to manufacture second and third-stage turbine vane tubes and covers for the F135 engine.

Pratt & Whitney Military Engines Business Development vice-president Howie Chandler said the contract award reaffirms the company’s commitment to F135 engine industrial participation in Australia.

"Levett competed globally and was selected as the best value supplier of these engine components, and continues to be a valuable part of our global supply chain for the F135 engine," Chandler said.

Levett Engineering managing director Paul Levett said, "Our contribution to the F135 engine helps ensure jobs and technology-know how remain an essential part of our local industry, and a key support to the needs of the Australian Defence Force."

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"The contract has a potential value of $200m over the life of the F-35 programme."

Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said the contract represents another good example of how Australia’s engagement with the JSF programme had afforded local industry the ability to develop new capabilities and access new markets.

"If Levett continues to meet required quality standards it will have the opportunity to secure up to US$200m in revenue though the JSF production phase," Johnston said.

A derivative of the combat-proven F119-PW-100 engine, the F135 is an afterburning two-shaft engine, featuring advanced prognostics and health management systems, and is designed to significantly reduce maintenance costs.

Under development in three variants, the F-35 JSF is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft designed to conduct an array of ground attack, reconnaissance and air defence missions with stealth capability.

Image: A Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35 JSF aircarft prepare to take off. Photo: courtesy of Pratt & Whitney.

Defence Technology