Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price is travelling to the United States to secure more job opportunities for Australian companies in global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program following Turkey expulsion from the F-35 Fighter program over her acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defence system.
“I will meet with Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen M. Lord to discuss current and future Australian industry involvement in F-35 production”, Minister Price said in a statement before her departure.
This visit will also provide her a first-hand account of the impressive footprint Australian businesses are making in the US.
During her meetings with US authorities, she will advocate for further industrial base integration by highlighting what Australian defence industry has to offer to new and existing programs, like the F-35 and Triton.
She will convince the US officials for the 11 Australian companies identified by the Department of Defence as having the capability to take on some of the work Turkish suppliers were undertaking in the program.
The F-35 Program will deliver fifth generation air capability for Australia, with more than 50 Australian businesses supplying parts fitted to every Joint Strike Fighter globally. By 2023, Australian industry production work will exceed AUD$2 billion and create up to 5000 new jobs.
She will also meet with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman representatives to see the integration of Australian manufactured components in US supply chains, and discuss options for more sustainment of current maritime platforms to support operational readiness in the region.