Marand has celebrated the manufacture of the first Australian-made F-35 Lightning II vertical tail. The milestone is a significant one for Marand and BAE Systems, which subcontracted the work, marking the start of production of up to 722 ship-sets of vertical tails for the aircraft.
Premier of Victoria Dr Denis Napthine and Senator Michael Ronaldson attended the ceremony marking the occasion at Marand’s facility in Melbourne. Marand managing director David Ellul said: “This is a major step for Marand to move into the field of aerostructures manufacturing. I am very proud of our team for achieving so much in such a short time, with tremendous support from BAE Systems. The unique capability we have established will serve the Australian defence industry and create high-technology Australian jobs for many years to come.”
Cliff Robson of BAE Systems stated: “We take our commitment to international participation very seriously, and today is a very proud day for us, for Marand and for Australia’s F-35 program. In just two years, we have worked side by side with Marand to develop a world-class aerostructure facility with a first-rate, repeatable capability for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Marand is also the sole source of the F-35’s engine removal and installation trailer.