The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today as part of planning for future in-country support of the F-35 following the Australian Government’s approval to procure the first 14 of an expected 100 F-35 aircraft.
John Monaghan, Director Aerospace, BAE Systems Australia, and Dr. Bob Bolz, Vice President Global Industrial Integration of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, concluded the MOU during a ceremony at BAE Systems Aerospace headquarters at Williamtown NSW.
Mr Monaghan said BAE Systems is ideally placed to provide support for the F-35 Lightning through its established capabilities at Williamtown where its 400 strong workforce already provides maintenance and through life support to the F/A-18 Hornet and Hawk Lead-In-Fighter fleets.
He stressed that, “Leveraging our capability at Williamtown will reduce the transition risk and cost of introducing the F-35 aircraft into service in Australia from 2018.”
“It will also assist in retaining this important defence industry capability for the Hunter region and Australia more generally.”
Mr Monaghan said that the Defence Materiel Organisation’s (DMO’s) New Air Combat Capability (NACC) project office had supported Lockheed Martin with identification of local industry capable of providing support.
Mr Monaghan said BAE Systems Australia would continue to work with local suppliers to identify additional opportunities for Australian companies, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to be involved in support solutions for this next generation combat aircraft.