BAE Systems Australia – the company that landed the contract to maintain the new batch of F-35 jet fighters due to arrive on Australian shores next year – is upbeat around its capacity to take on the brief.
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The firm’s chief executive Glynn Phillips told Defence Connect that it already had the right settings in place.
"The programme is there, now the jets will arrive in 2018," he said.
"It's a fantastic facility and … [the] F-35 is just the next opportunity of a generation. It's a huge challenge, but that's [also] a huge opportunity," Phillips added, noting that BAE Systems was currently engaged in a fundamental restructuring of its facility at the RAAF Williamtown site.
"When you look at the plans and the scale of the endeavour there, it's really pretty awesome," he said, highlighting the process undertaken by BAE Systems to be named as the sustainment partner for the airframe and components of the F-35 program.
"That's a culmination of five years' work so you know the team are rightly proud of the position they've been able to establish, and [they’re] really excited over the next two years [about it coming] to life," said Philips.
"What we'll have is a real aerospace sustainment and operation hub there [where] we'll see skills moving across Hawks, F-35s and other platforms. That is just going to create a fantastic place to work for the future generation of people coming into the aerospace business."