LONDON – Lockheed Martin has awarded a contract worth over AU$1.6M to BAE Systems Australia to establish a regional warehouse to sustain F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
The warehouse is co-located with Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown in New South Wales and is intended to store replenishment spares for F-35 operations in Australia and the Indo-Pacific.
“The establishment of a regional warehousing and distribution network for the Indo-Pacific will increase F-35 operational resilience for Australia and regional F-35 operators, including U.S. forces deployed in the Indo-Pacific,” said Warren McDonald, Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive.
“The regional warehouse will create approximately 20 immediate jobs as part of a growth path to more than 500 long-term F-35 sustainment jobs in future years.”
The F-35A warehouse at Williamtown is a key logistics node in the Global Sustainment System (GSS) for the F-35 program, for which Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor.
“I am delighted that we are expanding our contribution to the F-35 program through the activation of the Indo-Pacific regional warehouse,” BAE Systems Australia Managing Director of Defence Delivery, Andrew Gresham said.
“It helps to secure the region as a nationally important aerospace hub.”
Australian F-35 program participation
Australia’s participation in the F-35 program continues to deliver significant benefits to industry in the region and to the broader national economy.
To date, over AU$3 billion in F-35 production and sustainment contracts have been secured by more than 70 Australian firms, forecasted to increase several-fold during the life of the program and employing more than 3,000 Australians.
The Royal Australian Air Force is operating the F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing variant. Australia’s program of record is for 100 F-35A aircraft.
As the F-35 original equipment manufacturer and sustainment prime, Lockheed Martin uses advanced data analytics to optimize fleet readiness of global, regional and individual countries’ F-35 fleets.
This ensures the appropriate spares holdings are kept at the various warehouses across the F-35 logistics network in response to changing operational priorities and tempo.
The increasing range and depth of F-35 sustainment capabilities in Australia gives the F-35 greater operational resilience as the fleet continues to expand.
With combined U.S. and allied forces, by the year 2035, the F-35 will have a permanent presence of 300+ in the Indo-Pacific.