Regional workers in Benalla, Victoria and Mulwala, NSW, have reached a milestone in delivering Australia’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter capability, completing the first production lot of a new Australian-made munition for the RAAF.
The new BLU-111 will have the same range and performance metrics as current General Purpose Bombs but will be significantly safer to store, transport and operate.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said 15 Australian companies, including five small businesses, were delivering this capability for Defence.
“This work establishes a strategically important sovereign manufacturing capability to support the ADF,” Minister Price said. “It is a practical example of the Government’s ongoing commitment to domestic manufacturing of munitions, which is one of the 10 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities under the 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan.”
The government released the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Industry Plan for Munitions and Small Arms Research, Design, Development and Manufacture last year.
The news came as Chemring Australia, based in Lara, secured a US$107.5 million contract for the production and delivery of countermeasure flares for Australian, US and international F-35 operators.
Chemring Group and Defence have worked closely with the US Navy’s Naval Air System team to qualify Chemring Australia as the second source supplier of the MJU-68 countermeasure and MJU-61 training flares since 2011.