Govt locks on more jet fighter wins for Qld companies

Published Thursday, 01 October, 2015 at 06:00 AM

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Fort Worth, USA: The Palaszczuk Government has its sights set on more contracts and jobs for Queensland’s defence industry from the nation’s next jet fighter squadron.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today met with US aeronautics giant Lockheed Martin to identify upcoming opportunities for Queensland companies in the production of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

“Queensland has strengths in aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul capability and is also particularly strong in systems integration,” Dr Lynham said.

“Lockheed are already using Queensland companies as part of their global supply chain, and those contracts are supporting 50 local jobs.

“I’m keen to see more Queensland companies hitting the mark in the next round of contracts later this year.”

Australia has committed to buy 72 F-35A jet fighters from Lockheed Martin, and potentially up to 100.

Precision engineering group Ferra Engineering, thermal treatment company Heat Treatment Australia, radar and electronics group Micreo and gas-turbine engineering group TAE are already part of the F-35A joint strike fighter supply chain.

Ferra, TAE and Heat Treatment Australia collectively employ about 50 people to meet their fighter jet requirements and Micreo expect to employ five people from 2016 subject to finalising a manufacturing contract.

Speaking from Fort Worth, Dr Lynham said Queensland has a well-established reputation as a major civil and military aerospace industry centre.

“RAAF Base Amberley is already home to Australian Defence Forces’ strike capability and heavy lift air mobility capability such as the Classic Hornets, Super Hornets, Globemasters and the Multi Role Tanker Transport and is a logical home for a future Joint Strike Fighter squadron,” he said.

“Amberley is fast becoming a Super Base with the Growlers, specialised electronic warfare aircraft based on the Super Hornets, Spartan battlefield air lifter and the heavy lift Hercules all to be based there in the future.

“My department’s Defence Industries Queensland will brief and prepare Queensland companies for the next round of strike fighter contracts due later this year, and again next year.

“Companies will be assisted through supplier briefings, capability development, introductions plus one-on-one meeting with Lockheed Martin executives.

“This is a great opportunity to put our Queensland businesses front and centre in a bid to win valuable defence contracts and further our reputation as a major aviation centre.”

Dr Lynham is in the United States with eight Queensland businesses on a nine-day business mission to Peru and the US.

[ENDS]                       30 September, 2015

Media Contact:          Jan Martin 0439 341 314