Joint Strike Fighter manufacturing machine, South Australia

ADELAIDE, Australia –  Six Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded initial contracts to produce specialised components for the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.

The contracts underline the recent agreement between BAE Systems Australia and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) which aims to help more Australian SMEs secure opportunities in the company’s global supply chain.

The qualification contracts were a collaborative proposal between the SMEs, BAE Systems Australia and BAE Systems Nashua (US) operations, with the support of the Australian Government’s New Air Combat Capability (NACC) Program.

The contracts, awarded to Micreo (based in Brisbane), AW Bell (based in Melbourne), Ferra Engineering (based in Brisbane), Levett Engineering (based in Adelaide), TAE (based in Brisbane) and SEC Plating (based in Sydney), are for the production of various mechanical assemblies  that will contribute to the JSF’s on board Electronic Warfare system.

The SMEs will be required to variously demonstrate a range of advanced manufacturing techniques including close tolerance machining, casting, plating, vacuum brazing and laser welding.

Successful delivery will “qualify” each SME for ongoing participation in this element of the global manufacturing program.

The orders placed by BAE Systems Nashua with BAE Systems Australia are the first stage of what could potentially result in up to AUD $300 million worth of work over the 20 year manufacturing life of the global JSF program.

“We would not have been able to bid for this work package on our own – this collaborative proposal has enabled us to exercise our own particular skills.  The company will be making the best possible use of its existing capabilities” said Micreo’s Managing Director - Tim Shaw.

“AW Bell are delighted and proud to be chosen by BAE Systems Australia to be a member of the team to supply components of the F35 Lightning, Joint Strike Fighter, Electronic Warfare system. AW Bell’s commitment to the development of new aluminium casting technologies, enables us to support these most advanced of all defence systems” said AW Bell Chairman - Geoff Bell.

Program Manager New Air Combat Capability - AVM Kym Osley said "The Department of Defence and the NACC Program are delighted to see Australian industry collaborating to win business in the international arena by providing best value. I am sure it will be the catalyst for future industry participation on JSF.”

Chief Executive, BAE Systems Australia – David Allott said "This is a great outcome for Australia’s defence SMEs. This collaboration has enabled an integrated local industry solution that has captured global JSF manufacturing work right here in Australia.”

For further information contact:
Kaija Balodis, BAE Systems Australia
Tel: +61 (0) 8 8480 7002 Mob: +61 (0) 431 658 897

John Neilson, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384795   

Issued by:  
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK  
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384710 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947  
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