MELBOURNE, Australia, Mar. 31, 2014 – A ceremony was held today at Australian company, Marand, commemorating the delivery of the first ship of Australian made F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter vertical tails.
The Honourable Dr. Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria, and The Honourable Michael Ronaldson, Senator for Victoria representing the Defence Minister, were among the distinguished guests in attendance.
This delivery of the first major air frame components marks an important production milestone for Marand, BAE Systems and Australia, demonstrating the significant industrial benefits the F-35 program brings to the growing Australian aerospace industry. The work on the F-35 vertical tails is subcontracted to Marand by BAE Systems and is one of the largest planned manufacturing projects for the F-35 in Australia, with 722 ship sets anticipated.
“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 programme. 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,” said Cliff Robson, senior vice president F-35 for BAE Systems.
David Ellul, managing director of Marand, commented, “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.”
The F-35 Lightning II aircraft will provide the Royal Australian Air Force with a transformational 5th generation fighter capability and provides significant benefits to the Australian aerospace industry, with more than $350 million (USD) already contracted and $6 billion (USD) in expected manufacturing orders over the life of the programme.
“The F-35 is not only transforming the battlefield but also the global aerospace industry. This programme is built on a foundation of unprecedented partnerships that tie our countries together and link our companies with one another. There’s really no better example of the true global nature of this programme than right here at Marand,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
About the F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is the world’s most advanced military aircraft and for over a decade, the U.S. and our allies have invested in developing this fifth-generation, international, multirole fighter aircraft that will serve as a cornerstone of global security in the 21st century.
Marand designs and manufactures complex and innovative equipment and know how to the aerospace, defence, automotive, rail and renewable energy industries. Our customer base includes companies such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Our expertise in applying innovative manufacturing and production techniques, with precision where needed, delivers substantial financial benefits to our customers. This has resulted in Marand being the largest Australian supplier on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme. In addition to the F-35 Vertical Tails programme, Marand is the global sole source of the F-35 engine removal and installation trailer.
About BAE Systems
At BAE Systems, we serve the needs of our customers by delivering a wide range of advanced defence, aerospace and security solutions that provide a performance edge. We work together with local partners to develop, engineer, manufacture and support the innovations that increase defence sovereignty, sustain economies and safeguard commercial interests. With some 84,600 employees in six continents, we are committed to creating solutions that protect and strengthen nations, commerce, communities and people.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.
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More Information on the Lockheed Martin website: www.lockheedmartin.com