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Australian companies win F-35 maintenance contract


Australia is one of four countries that have been awarded a contract to provide maintenance services for the F-35 Lightning aircraft – a deal which could be worth up to $100 million to the economy.

Local defence contractors will provide repair, overhaul and upgrade services for F-35 components including avionics, aircraft structures, electrics, landing gear and pilot life support. BAE Systems Australia, Northrop Grumman Australia, GE Aviation Systems Australia and RUAG have been chosen to perform this work.

Other countries that scored major contracts include the UK and Netherlands.

Thus far, maintenance contracts have been assigned for just 65 out of 774 repairable components on the F-35, with the rest to be assigned in the next two to three years, according to Lockheed Martin.

The UK will provide support for the majority of these, being responsible for 48 components. 14 components have been attributed to the Netherlands and three to Australia.

Repair of the equipment will be conducted on a regional basis, split between Europe and the Pacific, from 2025 onwards. In Europe, 51 of 65 components will fall to the UK and 14 to the Netherlands, while in the Pacific, Australia will take on 64 components and South Korea will take on the remaining one.

Maintenance to be completed by Australia. Image: Business Insider


Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said that while the contracts still need finalising, it is estimated that the initial work will be worth $80 million – $100 million to the economy, creating and sustaining hundreds, if not thousands of jobs.

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