300 Vertical Tail Components per Month
BAE Systems announced on 18 July it has achieved peak production rates machining titanium parts for the vertical tail of the F-35 LIGHTNING II with Marand Precision Engineering recently completing the 50th such tail unit.
In 2017, BAE Systems Australia delivered more than 1,700 titanium parts into the F-35 programme through Marand. Currently 300 components for the vertical tail are being produced per month. BAE Systems has invested significantly in its advanced manufacturing facility, with the support of both federal and state government. The ramp up has also benefitted BAE Systems’ Australian supply chain, including ex auto manufacturer Axiom Precision Manufacturing and RUAG Australia, both based in Adelaide.
“We work closely with Marand on this and other projects and congratulate the team on achieving this milestone [….] Our involvement in supplying parts for the next-generation F-35 has provided the catalyst for a significant investment that has enabled us to expand a bespoke advanced manufacturing capability [….] It has also provided significant opportunities within our Australian supply chain, as we will be supplying parts into this programme for the next two decades [….] The expanded machining facility and our highly skilled Australian workforce will help us to secure new opportunities in defence or commercial sectors,” explained BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Gabby Costigan.