CANBERRA, Australia, July 12 (UPI) -- The Australian government is pushing to get maintenance and support work for Australian industry on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
"Australian industry is well placed to capitalize on the government's investment in the program, winning $329 million (US$303 million) in contracts to date," Minister for Defense Materiel Dr. Mike Kelly said.
While Australian companies are currently bidding for work making parts for the construction of F-35 fighter, in the not-too-distant future there will be opportunities work in the maintenance and support areas for the plane, he said.
Kelly made his comments at a Joint Strike Fighter industry day event in Canberra, attended by more than 100 Australian company representatives, government officials and representatives of U.S. companies involved in the F-35 program.
Among Australian company representatives, were those from firms already producing components and services to the worldwide program -- Quickstep Technologies, Marand Precision Engineering, Lovitt Technologies, TAE, Ferra Engineering, Levett Engineering -- and others interested in future sustainment of JSF aircraft Australia will operate.
"Support provided by the Defense Materiel Organization's Industry Support Program, Skilling and Training Programs, as well as the Defense Materials Technology Center and the Global Supply Chain Program have all helped Australian industry secure work," Kelly said. "The ability of Australian companies to be 'world class' and cost-competitive in high-technology aerospace manufacturing processes requires world leading innovation and a highly trained and well managed workforce."