Lockheed Martin and the Commonwealth have signed an agreement for Australian F-35 Sovereign sustainment contracts, establishing Lockheed Martin as a key Strategic F-35 sustainment partner for Australia.
The announcement, at the airshow, was made by the Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne.
The Heads of Agreement provides a set of contracting principles for both the Australian Department of Defence and Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver ongoing F-35 sovereign contracts for the life of the F-35A Australian fleet.
The announcement builds upon the foundation of existing sovereign Australian Department of Defence F-35 contracts with Lockheed Martin Australia and provides a streamlined framework and conditions for the establishment of future contracts for F-35 sovereign capabilities.
Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, Vince Di Pietro, said the agreement is the cornerstone of the partnership between the company and the Australian customer, and will reduce red tape for all new contracts.
“This Heads of Agreement provides a fundamental pillar in Lockheed Martin’s long-term F-35 relationship with the Australian Department of Defence to deliver RAAF F-35 capability and is testament to our commitment in ensuring that the RAAF can meet its sovereign fifth generation aerospace combat capability needs,” he said.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is excited to support the RAAF in the establishment of F-35A capability and to the ongoing provision of sustainment services in Australia in the years ahead, including technical, logistics, information systems and training support.
“As the maker of the F-35, no one knows the aircraft better. We are committed to the ongoing realisation of opportunities for RAAF personnel and Australian industry partners to develop skills in high-end roles, including the development of advanced technologies and sustainment for the F-35,” Mr Di Pietro said.
Australian industry plays a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft.
To date, the F-35 program has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.