FORT WORTH, Texas --- Australian government and aerospace industry representatives spent Thursday at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant discussing potential opportunities for Australian companies to participate in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Australia has announced its intention to join the program's development phase in late 2002.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin Corp., is the prime contractor to develop the next-generation F-35 JSF for the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and seven allied nations. Australia would be the eighth international partner to join the F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase and would have the opportunity to develop and supply parts and subsystems, influence the aircraft's design and place representatives in the government's JSF Program Office.
Fourteen Australian government and 26 Australian industry representatives traveled to Fort Worth for a series of F-35 technical presentations, and discussions on potential Australian industrial participation in the program. Activities during the visit included a program overview, demonstrations of the F-35 cockpit and explanations of specific aircraft systems.
A Lockheed Martin F-35 team has traveled to Australia twice this year to evaluate companies' potential contributions to the program.
"Australia has a strong and well-established aerospace industrial base," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and JSF program general manager. "We know the Australians manufacture very high quality, cost-competitive products, and we expect them to compete effectively within the F-35 program's best-value criteria."
To gain JSF work on the highly competitive F-35 program, suppliers must prove that they offer "best value," a combination of quality, affordability and other development and production criteria.
The F-35 is a stealthy (radar-evading), supersonic multirole fighter designed to meet the U.S. government's requirements for a new generation of transformational weapons. The single-engine JSF will be manufactured in three versions: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing (CTOL) variant for the U.S. Air Force, an aircraft-carrier version (CV) for the U.S. Navy, and a short-takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) version for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The cornerstone of the F-35 is affordability, achieved in large part through a very high level of common parts and systems across the three versions of the aircraft.
The F-35 is designed to replace aging fighter inventories, including U.S. Air Force A-10s and F-16s, U.S. Navy F/A-18s, U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18s, and United Kingdom Harrier GR.7s and Sea Harriers.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 in conjunction with its principal partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Pratt & Whitney and General Electric are developing two separate but interchangeable engines.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production, and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, T-50, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3, and U-2.
Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, and integration of advanced technology systems, products, and services. Employing about 125,000 people worldwide, Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.
-ends- Australian Group Scouts Possible Lockheed Martin F-35 Work