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BAE Systems takes next step on strike fighter manufacturing journey

F-35 Lightning II (CTOL)
ADELAIDE, Australia - BAE Systems has completed a successful Production Readiness Review (PRR) for manufacturing critical airframe components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.

The PRR was an important step for South Australia becoming a key supplier in the JSF Program's global supply chain, according to Land & Integrated Systems Director Kim Scott.

The review was held at BAE Systems Edinburgh Parks site. Attendees from the global JSF Program included representatives from Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems UK and Marand.

Mr Scott said the company had so far delivered more than 370 Vertical Tail parts, comprising 13 aircraft ship sets, from its Edinburgh Parks manufacturing facility in northern Adelaide.

"Achieving this key milestone of PRR means we are a step closer towards Full Rate Production, which would involve further production readiness assessments. At full rate production we will be delivering 70 aircraft sets per annum, with over 30 parts in each set.

Manufacturing times can range from one hour to 50 hours per component. These parts consist of highly complex shapes and fine tolerance features requiring the latest five Axis Machining technology available today.

"BAE Systems Australia has a proven track record in successfully delivering parts direct to the JSF Vertical Tail production line in time for production. To date, all ship sets delivered have met the stringent quality standards and customer schedule expectations.

"Continuing to deliver to our current performance level should lead to more JSF manufacturing opportunities in avionics and airframe parts, which will also have flow on benefits to Australia's SME community," Mr Scott said.

The outcomes of the PRR will be reported back to the United States Department of Defense 2012 Defense Acquisition Board Review of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.