Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today opened the Off-Board Information Systems Centre (OBISC)—the first of the RAAF’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter facilities—at RAAF Williamtown, which represents $16 million of the $770 million of works currently underway at the base. While it was being built, the OBISC supported 350 jobs in the local area.
“The Centre is an Australian unique capability that hosts ground-based, off board, F-35A Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS),” Minister Pyne said.
“The ALIS is the logistical nerve-centre for the Joint Strike Fighter. It is used to support mission planning, manage air and ground crew training, manage day to day maintenance activities and to provide logistical support to the aircraft and associated systems.
“The overall investment in Williamtown is providing significant returns to the local community with more than $215 million of contracts going to local businesses to date.
“It demonstrates what happens when the Government invests in high end military equipment. It requires upgrading bases and material across the country, which then flows into investment in jobs in local industry.
“ALIS provides the information system hardware, software and data that performs maintenance management, fault diagnostics, supply support, mission planning and training management across the F-35A weapon system.”
“A range of works underway at Williamtown to support the F-35A capability are on track for completion by mid-2021,” Minster Pyne said.
The facilities to be provided at Williamtown also include:
-- runway extensions
-- base electrical, sewage, fire and storm-water management infrastructure
-- F-35A squadron headquarters, training and maintenance facilities.
The New Air Combat Capability project at Williamtown was approved by Government in April 2014 and is part of a $1.477 billion capability project undertaken by Defence across RAAF Bases Williamtown and Tindal as well as forward operating bases.
Construction started in November 2014, with all works required to support the arrival of the first F-35A in 2018 on track for completion.