Page 6 - Australian Defence Magazine - July 2018
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300th F-35 rolls off the line
THE F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin have delivered the 300th production F-35 aircraft, a USAF F-35A that will be delivered to Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
"The F-35 weapons system is provid- ing our warfighters the combat proven, advanced capabilities they need to meet mission requirements," Vice Admiral Mat Winter, program executive officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office, said. "The 300th production aircraft delivery is a significant milestone that highlights the effective F-35 enterprise collaboration
across the JPO, U.S. services, partners and industry."
The first 300 F-35s include 197 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants, 75 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variants, and 28 F-35C carrier variants (CV). Over 620 pilots and 5,600 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has amassed more than 140,000 cumulative flight hours across the international program.
Lockheed Martin says it is on track to re- duce the cost of an F-35A to $80 million by 2020 through process efficiencies, produc-
tion automation, facility and tooling up- grades, and supply chain initiatives.
In a statement, Lockheed said that the price of an F-35A has come down more than 60 per cent from the first contract, touch labor has been reduced by about 75 per cent over the last five years, and production span time has decreased by about 20 per cent since 2015.
91 F-35 aircraft are due to be delivered in 2018, including eight to Australia. The first two will arrive at RAAF Williamtown later this year.
The fighter was recently used in combat operations by Israel, a first for the platform.
Third and final Air Warfare Destroyer launched
THE third and final Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), Sydney, has been launched in Ade- laide. Sydney joined the second AWD, Bris- bane, alongside the wharf at the Osborne Naval Shipyard.
AWD Program Manager Commodore Craig Bourke congratulated the workforce on achieving this significant milestone.
“Over the past ten years, we have seen more than 5,000 people and 1,500 suppliers contribute millions of hours of effort to the
AWD program – the most complex defence project ever undertaken in Australia.
“The complexity of this project is reflected in the sophistication of the AWDs – these war- ships will provide a true step-change in capabil- ity for the ADF. As the most potent warships Australia has ever possessed, all three destroyers feature an advanced anti-submarine warfare ca- pability, state-of-the-art radar technology and an air defence system capable of engaging en- emy aircraft and missiles at an extended range,”
CDRE Bourke said.
Minister for Defence In-
dustry Christopher Pyne said the achievement shows the strength of the shipbuilding and systems integration skills which have been developed by the AWD Program.
“We celebrate the highly
Chief of Navy Tim Barrett in front of the third AWD at the Sydney launch.
skilled workers from ASC, Raytheon Aus- tralia, Navantia Australia and Defence,” Minister Pyne said. “It’s difficult to imagine just ten years ago, this shipyard at Osborne was a brownfield site with no infrastructure.
“Since then more than 5,000 people have worked directly on the AWD Pro- gram to build and integrate three of the most capable and potent warships the Navy has ever possessed.”
AWD Alliance general manager Paul Evans also acknowledged the complexity of the AWD program and emphasised the cooperative role required between industry and Defence to deliver this capability.
“The AWD program is a further demon- stration of the important role that industry plays as a fundamental input into capabil- ity for Defence. This sovereign shipbuilding and combat systems integration industry that has been built through the AWD pro- gram has helped us exceed our Australian Industry Capability targets by almost 20 per cent,” Evans said.
The 300th production F-35 was an A-type sent to Hill AFB, Utah.
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