BAYSWATER, Australia, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- RUAG Australia has been contracted to perform maintenance and overhaul duties for Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
Under the contract, the company will repair and install new valves, auxiliary power systems, landing gear components, and additional supporting equipment. The contract award follows three years of discussion between Joint Strike Fighter and RUAG staff. The operations will be performed in support of the Australian Defense Force.
"This assignment is a genuine reflection of the quality and skill of our people and the treasured reputation for reliable service that they have developed over many years of serving the military customer," RUAG Australia managing director said in a press release. "The Joint Strike Fighter will be the cornerstone of the Royal Australian Air Force, and a number of other air forces, for many years to come. RUAG Australia is committed to being a successful and valued member of the global team supporting the platform."
Lockheed Martin and other industry partners designed the next-generation multirole fighter to replace several fighters including the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the A-10 Thunder Bolt II.
Australia is one of the original nine partner countries participating in the F-35 program, alongside the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Canada, and Great Britain. RUAG officials add they intend to deepen their involvement with the program as it continues.
"We look forward to collaborating with our chosen partners in delivering the best possible Australian contribution to the Joint Strike Fighter program, both in terms of manufacturing and deeper level repair," Teager added. "We will continue to extend and broaden our existing manufacturing contracts as well as bidding, alongside our partners, for additional Joint Strike Fighter sustainment opportunities as they emerge."