LONG AWAITED: The F-35Joint Strike Fighter.
LONG AWAITED: The F-35Joint Strike Fighter. Contributed

Hi-tech jet flies thanks to Ipswich

A TOUCH of Ipswich will be in every Joint Strike Fighter with a vital component made at Amberley destined for the long-awaited aircraft.

As part of its long-term agreement with Harris Corporation, Australian engineering company TAE has delivered the latest batch of advanced liquid-cooled electronics enclosures for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.

TAE, which has a home at RAAF Base Amberley, said it was doubly important that among them were enclosures for the first F-35s to be acquired by the RAAF.

Jason Clare, Federal Minister for Defence Material, was present to witness delivery of the parts for the first Australian F-35s.

Minister Clare praised TAE's contribution to the program and commitment to expanding Australia's participation in global programs such as the JSF.

"TAE has shown it is a globally competitive manufacturer which has won work on the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world," Mr Clare said.

"The parts made here will be installed on every Joint Strike Fighter. That means there will be a little bit of Queensland in every plane."

TAE general manager Andrew Sanderson said TAE was proud of what it had accomplished and being part of the program.

"As an Australian company, to have parts on the first Australian F-35s is especially pleasing," Mr Sanderson said.

Mark McKenzie, Harris Corporation's supply chain manager for the F-35/Lightning II program, said TAE's dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence had led to significant accomplishments.

TROUBLED AIRCRAFT

  • The Joint Strike Fighter program's overall cost has grown from US$226.5 billion in 2001 to US$395.7 billion.
  • The F-35 is also way behind schedule with the first plan to have an initial batch available for combat in 2010.
  • A new target date of 2019 has been informally suggested.


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