Page 12 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 12

Chemring and Quickstep to develop F-35 countermeasures
CHEMRING Australia and Quickstep Holdings Ltd have secured funding for product development and cost reduction initiatives for F-35 Lightning II counter- measure flares.
“Chemring and Quickstep are excel- lent examples of leading-edge Australian companies succeeding in winning work in international supply chains,” Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said. “This initiative will position Australian industry to take advantage of emerging opportunities to supply countermeasures to the burgeoning F-35 market and be- yond. Chemring and Quickstep have both invested heavily in this initiative, and have also received funding from the US F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office.”
Chemring has announced it will expand its Lara facility in Victoria to design, test
and manufacture F-35 countermeasures; something CEO Joe Farrah mentioned to ADM in May’s From the Source interview.
“We have a degree of perspective on what might be required to support any fu- ture development of indigenous counter- measures; something we’re keenly explor- ing the possibility of with Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit and DST Group as part of the five-year col- laboration agreement,” Farrah said. “That could possibly lead to us standing up an even more advanced research and develop- ment capability at Lara.”
Quickstep will develop and commission new advanced manufacturing technology at its facility in Bankstown, NSW, to sup- ply countermeasure housings to Chemring. The New Air Combat Capability – Indus- try Support Program, which is adminis-
tered by the Department of Defence, also granted the company $1 million.
Quickstep supplies 40 per cent of the materiel to Marand Precision Engineering to produce each F-35 conventional take- off and landing vertical tail. Marand re- cently delivered its 50th vertical tail to the F-35 program (see PXX for more on this).
According to Minister Pyne, more than 50 Australian companies have shared in more than $1 billion worth of global F-35 production contracts to date.
“Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase pro- duction contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates continue to increase,” Minister Pyne added.
Australian industry involvement in F-35 production is expected to exceed $2 bil- lion by 2023.
Trinidad and Tobago buy two Austal patrol boats
THE government of Trinidad and Tobago has announced its intention to purchase two Austal Cape Class patrol boats, which will be built in the Henderson shipyard in WA. The vessels will enhance the bor- der protection capabilities of the country in conjunction with the existing Coast Guard fleet, and will join six Austal fast patrol craft acquired in 2009.
The Cape Class is a 58 metre aluminium monohull patrol boat with a 4,000 nauti- cal mile range and 28-day patrol cycle with a crew of up to 22. The vessel also supports two high speed 7.3 metre inflatable boats used for intercepting other vessels.
The sale is likely to be supported by the Australian government via the Export Fi- nance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), and follows a demonstration by the RAN of the capabilities of the Cape Class to a delegation of senior Trinidad and Tobago officials, which included Chief of Defence
Staff Commodore Hayden Pritchard. The order is likely to be valued at $100 million, plus a multi-year ongoing mainte-
nance and support package.
The sale of the vessels is conditional on
final contracts being signed in the coming weeks, together with a conclusive offer from EFIC to Trinidad. An initial, lower value design contract is expected to be signed
shortly in preparation for the main contract. In a statement, Austal said it expects to establish a service centre in Trinidad to support these vessels and any additional
vessels requiring maintenance.
To date, Austal have built 10 Cape Class
vessels in Henderson for the Australian Border Force and RAN. Delivery is ex- pected to be in mid-2020.
Austal will build two Cape Class boats
for Trinidad at the Henderson facility in WA.
An F-35 releasing countermeasure flares during training.
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