Delivery of the First Australian-made F-35 JSF Vertical Tail

Australian Minister for Defence and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs // March 31, 2014

Australian precision engineering company Marand has manufactured the first Australian made vertical tail for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF).

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Senator Michael Ronaldson, representing the Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston, attended an event today at Marand’s Moorabbin premises marking the milestone.

Speaking from Perth, Defence Minister David Johnston, praised the involvement of Marand, a wholly-owned Australian company, in the production of the world’s most advanced war plane.

“This truly is a great success story for our aero-space industry here in Victoria,” Senator Johnston said.

“The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will provide the Royal Australian Air Force with genuine 5th Generation capability and ensure it retains a regional leading edge air combat readiness.” .

Senator Ronaldson said the milestone reflected positively on Australian industry know-how and ingenuity more generally.

“Melbourne-based Marand and its supply chain are commencing production of up to 722 sets of vertical tails for the F-35, which will be fitted to the F-35s of United States and other F-35 partner nations.

“The manufacture and delivery of the vertical tails is expected to generate around $1 billion of revenue and employ 200 staff at Marand through the life of the program.

“With the commitment and support of Lockheed Martin and Pratt and Whitney, a steady F-35 production ramp up, a continuing favourable Australian dollar and a ‘sharp pencil’ by Australian industry, I expect Australian industry do very well on the F-35 program over many years.”

Senator Ronaldson said there were several other significant opportunities for Australian industry, including making composite panels for the fuselage of the F-35, weapons carriers, decoy flares, and other components.

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