The first Australian-made part for the first Australian F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is on its way to Texas.
Manufactured by Lovitt Technologies in Melbourne, the longeron is part of the structure that attaches the aircraft’s wings to its fuselage. The part will be shipped to Lockheed Martin in Texas and — if all goes according to plan — will arrive back in Australia as part of F-35 AU-1 in 2018.
“It leaves as a part and comes back as a plane — one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world,” Minister for Defence Material Jason Clare said.
Australian companies have won more than $300 million in work as part of the multinational JSF program and have been making F-35 parts for a decade, but this is the first one meant for an Australian fighter.