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Australian principal partner selected for Joint Strike Fighter Project.

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Senator Robert Hill Minister for Defence

30 July 2004


BAE SYSTEMS Australia has been selected as a principal partner to manage electronic warfare work to be performed in Australia for the Joint Strike Fighter program, the Defence Minister Senator Robert Hill and Industry Minister Ian

Macfarlane announced today.

"The US company, BAE Systems Information and Electronic Warfare Systems (BAES IEWS), has been searching for international suppliers to the JSF Program for a year. They had considered partners in Canada, Denmark, Italy, The

Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom before making their Australian selection," the Ministers said.

BAES IEWS aims to establish a long-term relationship with BAE SYSTEMS Australia as its principal partner within Australia for the 10 year System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and Low Rate Initial Production phases of the JSF Program.

The Agreement covers printed wiring boards and assemblies, cable assemblies and complex electronic components and seeks to place work valued at US$23 million into Australian industry.

"The Agreement is a tremendous outcome for Australian industry as it seeks increased involvement in the higher technology areas of the JSF Program, particularly in the aircraft’s electronic warfare capabilities," the Ministers said.

BAE SYSTEMS Australia, headquartered in Salisbury South Australia, believes the existing relationship with its sister company will foster a stronger JSF presence in Australia and provide valuable opportunities for other local companies.

The company also leads the industry element of a Defence task force developing and promoting an Australian Regional Support Capability for regional JSF operators and deployed U.S. forces.

In a continuing success story, Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering has expanded its United States JSF customer base through a Memorandum of Understanding with Parker Aerospace to supply fuel system valve kits. They also have a second order from Northrop Grumman to produce prototype electronic housings. Ferra already has orders with Lockheed Martin to manufacture JSF airframe wing components.

"The Government’s decision in 2002 to participate in the SDD phase of the program continues to bear fruit, as evidenced by Ferra’s ongoing success," the Ministers said.

"It’s only two years on and Australian industry is increasingly engaged in the program and developing relationships with the JSF prime contractors. These relationships are providing opportunities for current and future work, particularly in the higher technology areas."