Chasing More Opportunities for Australian Industry in Joint Strike Fighter Program
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued June 23, 2020)
A South Australian company enlisted by Defence to help in the fight against COVID-19 is among three Australian companies that have received funding from the Morrison Government to ramp up their involvement in the global F-35 program.

Family-owned Axiom has secured more than $800,000 to purchase new technical equipment and train staff in its operation.

Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price said it was an example of how Australia’s defence industry is getting on with the job of building our defence capability, despite the challenging conditions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Axiom recently joined forces with Defence to rapidly produce face shields for frontline health workers,” Minister Price said.

“This demonstrated the highly-advanced manufacturing capacity we have in our defence industry and why it’s important to invest in these capabilities.

“The funding we’re providing Axiom will enable them to invest in new equipment to ramp up their involvement in the F-35 program, which leads to the creation of more local jobs and opportunities in their supply chain.”

So far, 50 Australian companies have shared in almost $1.8 billion in the production of the F-35 Program, employing over 2,400 Australian workers.

The grants announced today include:

-- South Australian-based NuMetric (trading as Axiom) has been awarded $809,998 to purchase a five-axis three metre vertical computer numerical control machine, and to train staff in its operation.

-- Victorian-based Moog has been awarded $250,000 to undertake a study and capability gap analysis to prepare for the sustainment phase of the F-35 Global Support Solution. ---This analysis is the first step towards Moog becoming a qualified repair source for sustainment under the F-35 Program.

-- Victorian-based A.W. Bell has been awarded $250,000 to invest at its Dandenong South casting and production facility, to improve competitiveness and reduce risk for the F-35 global supply chain.

The grants were awarded under the New Air Combat Capability – Industry Support Program. It supports the development of new or improved capabilities that enhance Australian industry’s ability to win work in production, sustainment and follow-on development phases of the F-35 Program.

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Axiom Wins New F-35 Advanced Manufacturing Work with BAE Systems Australia
(Source: BAE Systems Australia; issued June 22, 2020)
Former South Australian car parts maker Axiom Precision Manufacturing has won more work in Australia on the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in a new contract with BAE Systems Australia.

Axiom already supports BAE Systems with component machining for the Joint Strike Fighter, the world’s largest defence program. This new contract will take the value of Axiom’s work to more than $3 million a year.

The company machines seven parts in each vertical tail set produced by BAE Systems at its Edinburgh Park facilities north of Adelaide. Since starting on the program in 2015, Axiom has continued to expand its machining capabilities and won the new work after a six month trial during 2019/2020.

The new work involves machining one of the most complex parts for the F-35 vertical tail - the Leading Edge Spar which at just under three metres is the longest titanium component in the aircraft’s vertical tail. The machining work awarded to Axiom was previously undertaken in the UK.

Across its global enterprise, BAE Systems has a significant role in the advanced manufacture of F-35 aircraft. In Australia, the team produces bespoke components, which are supplied to BAE Systems in the UK which builds the aft fuselage and empennage, as well as to Victorian manufacturer Marand which consolidates components in the vertical tail.

Production of vertical tail parts at Edinburgh Parks began in 2008 and will continue for another decade.

BAE Systems Australia Managing Director Defence Delivery Andrew Gresham said:
“From the very start, Axiom has worked closely with us to understand the program and has invested significantly in new facilities and technologies to improve its capabilities as a supplier to the defence industry.

“By providing new opportunities for our supply chain, it puts us in a much better position to bid for and secure additional high value advanced manufacturing and further increase Australia’s work share on the Joint Strike Fighter program.”

Aerospace and Defence Manager Axiom Precision Manufacturing Fred Hull said:
“The strategic alliance Axiom has with BAE Systems has assisted Axiom in maturing as a key defence contractor.

“Securing defence industry contracts has provided the critical long-term, high-value work that has allowed us to transition from the car industry by developing bespoke Australian manufacturing capabilities.

“These long-term programs allow Axiom to have the confidence to forge ahead with training, capability improvements and capital investments.”

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