Three companies have received funding from the Morrison government to ramp up their involvement in the global F-35 supply chain, including a South Australian company enlisted by Defence to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Family-owned Axiom has secured over $800,000 to purchase new technical equipment and train staff in its operation. The company recently joined forces with Defence to rapidly produce face shields for frontline health workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the company said that it has considerable experience with Silvershield counter-IED production, which positions it well for defence collaboration moving forward.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said that Axiom's pandemic assistance was an example of how Australia’s industry is getting on with the job of building capability, despite the challenging conditions posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This demonstrated the highly-advanced manufacturing capacity we have in our defence industry and why it’s important to invest in these capabilities,” Minister Price said.
“The funding we’re providing Axiom will enable them to invest in new equipment to ramp up their involvement in the F-35 program, which leads to the creation of more local jobs and opportunities in their supply chain.”
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program has had widespread benefits across the defence and manufacturing spheres, with some 50 Australian companies sharing in almost $1.8 billion. According to Defence, program work has created jobs for over 2,400 Australian workers.
The grants announced include:
- South Australian-based NuMetric (trading as Axiom) has been awarded $809,998 to purchase a five-axis, three-metre vertical computer numerical control machine, and to train staff in its operation.
- Victorian-based Moog has been awarded $250,000 to undertake a study and capability gap analysis to prepare for the sustainment phase of the F-35 Global Support Solution. This analysis is the first step towards Moog becoming a qualified repair source for sustainment under the F-35 Program.
- Victorian-based A W Bell has been awarded $250,000 to invest at its Dandenong South casting and production facility, to improve competitiveness and reduce risk for the F-35 global supply chain.