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Australia Details Industry Role in JSF (Mar. 15)

Australian industry has been awarded over A$60 million worth of work since joining the System Development and Demonstration phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program two years ago, Defence Minister Robert Hill and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announced today.

Since the first Australian JSF contract was announced in June 2003, a total of 18 Australian companies have won work that is expected to lead to substantial opportunities in the production, sustainment and follow-on development phases of the program. Senator Hill will today meet many of the successful companies at the Avalon Air Show.

"The companies are confident that good performance on the latest orders will result in follow-on work in the longer-term production phases of the JSF Program," Senator Hill said.

"Global competition for this project has been tough but Australian industry has had good wins and has been given the opportunity to inject innovative Australian Research and Development. There have been many industry lessons learned along the way that will be of benefit in the future, not only on the JSF project but other international projects as well," said the Ministers.

Mr Macfarlane said recent discussions in both Australia and the United States with Lockheed Martin, its JSF partners and their subcontractors, have stressed the benefits to the program by continuing to engage Australian industry throughout the life of the program.

"Congratulations to the companies that have won work on the project to date and we look forward to further opportunities for future work, particularly in the higher technology areas of the project," Mr Macfarlane said.

Most recently, Sydney-based Goodrich Control Systems Australia has been selected by Goodrich Actuation Systems (UK) to manufacture key components fitted to the JSF weapons bay door drive system. Goodrich has in turn selected Melbourne-based Rosebank Engineering to manufacture and process critical sub-components. The companies are confident this work will lead to significant future production and servicing work.

In its third JSF order, Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering's existing engine trailer work with JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin has been extended to enable the trailers to handle either of the two engine types being developed for JSF aircraft. In a ceremony at the Avalon Air Show tomorrow, Marand will deliver its first trailer to Lockheed Martin - the first piece of equipment that Australia has designed and manufactured for the JSF.

JSF engine prime contractor Pratt & Whitney has selected Melbourne-based Production Parts to fabricate critical components for its F135 JSF engine with hardware deliveries to begin in 2005. Production Parts is the first company in Australia to secure F135 business with Pratt & Whitney and the company anticipates a long-term relationship.

On the back of an earlier order for cable assemblies for JSF, another Melbourne-based company, Cablex, specialising in electro-mechanical cable and harness assemblies, has received a trial order from Northrop Grumman for radio frequency connectors.

Tomago-based Varley has also been awarded another contract from Lockheed Martin for ground support equipment.

Adelaide based BAE Systems Australia will supply cabling in the first order under its Agreement with BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (BAES IEWS) of Nashua (US).

In a continuing success story for Australian small business and with its sixth JSF order, Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering has received an order from the UK's Smiths Aerospace to produce electronic enclosures. Additionally, good performance on earlier orders has resulted in the value of Ferra's machining work for Marvin Engineering (US) being doubled.

In further proof that Australian industry can provide viable, innovative, 'best value' solutions for major platforms, engineers from Melbourne-based GKN Aerospace Services continue to play a key part in getting JSF weight, cost and schedule issues back on track.

Working with specialists from Adelaide's VIPAC Engineers and Scientists, GKN has received an order from Lockheed Martin to provide stress analysis services for JSF flight test instrumentation. In addition to Northrop Grumman recently increasing its contract with GKN for provision of airframe and sub-system engineering design work, GKN has received a similar order from Lockheed Martin for work on all JSF variants in the System Development and Demonstration phase of the program.

In an important win for regional Australia, three companies in the NSW Shoalhaven have teamed and been selected by Northrop Grumman to produce test equipment for components in the JSF mission computer system. Over the next twelve months, engineers from CSC Australia, Partech Systems and Total Aerospace Solutions will design and produce hardware and software to test critical JSF avionics components.

Early Success Leads to More JSF Work for Australian Companies