What Does the Future Hold for the Defence Industry in Australia?

ABC News (Australia) // June 20, 2013

TONY EASTLEY: We're broadcasting today from a hangar at Bankstown airport in Sydney where they make parts for the F35 joint strike fighter jet.

(Sound of machinery)

The area we're broadcasting from this morning on the AM manufacturing tour has seen some changes over the years. It's here in a big old hangar at Bankstown airport that de Havilland assembled fighter bombers for the RAAF in World War II. The mosquitoes were composite aircraft built largely of wood and glue.

ARCHIVAL NEWREEL: (Military music) In Australia we are now building the fastest aircraft in the world - out of wood.

TONY EASTLEY: Today it's again composites - but it's carbon fibre. And the sections of aircraft I can see around the hangar are destined for the world's most sophisticated military jet - the F35 joint strike fighter.

(Sound of a F35 joint strike fighter flying overhead)

Chairman of Quickstep Technologies, Tony Quick:

Tony Quick, when we look at something like this, the amount of money that goes into a project, how important is government encouragement for this type of manufacturing?

TONY QUICK: Oh, absolutely critical. I mean the total investment on this site is of the order of $16 million. But as part of that, through the JSF (joint strike fighter) program, we have long term contracts of about $700 million from Northrop Grumman and we would only be involved in that as a result of Australia joining up to the JSF program.

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