The technicians, who have transferred from the Hawk Lead-In Fighter program, will be trained by Lockheed Martin at its production facility training centre in Fort Worth, Texas.
After the 13-week training program in the US, they will build their proficiency on the F-35 and its systems, and then return to BAE Systems to lead a dedicated depot workforce to support the Australian and regional F-35 aircraft.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said:
“This is the next critical step in creating a regional airframe depot capability here in Australia, and follows on from the significant depot activation planning work carried out to date.”
“Our mechanical, avionics and structural technicians will be trained at the factory where the F-35 is designed and built. This training will ensure they have all the necessary skills to provide the very best support for the Royal Australian Air Force.
“These people are the foundation of our future depot maintenance workforce here at Williamtown. Three are qualified instructors and will train future staff as we ramp up our capability and capacity.”
When all of Australia’s aircraft are delivered, BAE Systems will support up to six dedicated F-35 maintenance bays employing around 100 people.