As per last week's announcement regarding F-35 repair and maintenance assignments, Australia has won 10 of the initial 11 component categories available to partner countries for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter regional sustainment.
RUAG Australia is one of the companies that will benefit and, starting in 2025, the company will have lead responsibility within the Pacific Region for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of Joint Strike Fighter components in four Repair Technology Groups - Valves (RTG F), Auxiliary Power Systems (RTG G), Landing Gear Components (RTG L) and Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Pneudraulics & Hydro-Mechanical (RTG H) – all of which are consistent with RUAG Australia’s core capabilities.
In a statement, RUAG declared that "as a significant, long-standing provider of in-country component maintenance and repair capabilities to the ADF, it is extremely well qualified to now extend such services to the regional Joint Strike Fighter fleet and is particularly appreciative of the recognition accorded to it by the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office".
The assignments to RUAG Australia are the result of three years of discussion and close collaboration by RUAG Australia staff with Joint Strike Fighter component Original Equipment Manufacturers, including Honeywell, UTC Aerospace Systems, Eaton, Moog and Parker, and with its industry partners and suppliers in Australia, including TAE and H.I.Fraser.
The company also acknowledged the consistent support provided to Australian industry by Defence’s Joint Strike Fighter Division and the strong advocacy for Australian companies by Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.
“This assignment is a genuine reflection of the quality and skill of our people and the treasured reputation for reliable service that they have developed over many years of serving the military customer,” RUAG Australia managing director John Teager said. “The Joint Strike Fighter will
be the cornerstone of the Royal Australian Air Force, and a number of other air forces, for many years to come.
RUAG Australia is committed to being a successful and valued member of the global team supporting the platform,” he added. “We look forward to collaborating with our chosen partners in delivering the best possible Australian contribution to the Joint Strike Fighter program, both in terms of manufacturing and deeper level repair. There is still much work to be done before component repair assignment becomes actual work, but the laying of the foundation can never start too early. We will continue to extend and broaden our existing manufacturing contracts as well as bidding, alongside our partners, for additional Joint Strike Fighter sustainment opportunities as they emerge.”
The company has a long history in the Joint Strike Fighter program having been manufacturing major hydraulic components for the aircraft continually since the system design and development phase in 2003. With its headquarters in Melbourne, and operations in five locations across Australia – two in Victoria, one in South Australia and on-base at RAAF Amberley and RAAF Williamtown – it stated all sites will likely contribute over time to the delivery of Joint Strike Fighter deeper level component maintenance and repair.