Fighter aircraft contract great for local industry

Economic Development Pillar

The Federal Government’s approval of the acquisition of a further 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft is great news for the G21 region.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, today (23 April 2014)  announced the $12.4 billion acquisition.

The Australian defence industry has been awarded over $355 million in work and stands to win well in excess of $1.5 billion in JSF-related production and support work over the life of the programme.

This will create long-term jobs in advanced manufacturing and engineering.

Marand, which has a strong presence in Geelong, is playing an important role in this project, manufacturing high-tech trailers and parts of the vertical tails for the aircraft.

These components are incredibly complex; one trailer alone has 12,000 individual parts.

This decision gives stability and confidence to Marand as it continues to punch above its weight in the highly competitive world of defence industries.

Marand shows what Geelong can do in advanced manufacturing in the defence sector.

The business is a shining example of Geelong’s manufacturing expertise and technical know how and demonstrates why the region would be an ideal home for LAND 400. 

The 58 new F-35 aircraft, in addition to the 14 already approved for purchase in 2009, will provide the RAAF with a total of 72 aircraft to form three operational squadrons and one training squadron.

The first F-35 aircraft will arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 2020.

Source: Media release Sarah Henderson MP