Chemring Australia, based in Lara, near Geelong, secured the USD$107.5 million contract for the production and delivery of countermeasure flares for Australian, US and international F-35 operators.

The contract represents the culmination of a multi-year joint effort between the US Government, the Australian Government and Chemring Group to qualify Chemring Australia to produce countermeasures for the global F-35 fleet.

Chemring Australia

Chemring Australia is a leading manufacturer and supplier of air-launched countermeasures against sophisticated electronic systems.

Since 2011, Chemring Group and Defence have worked closely with the US Navy’s Naval Air System team to qualify Chemring Australia as the second source supplier of the MJU-68 countermeasure, and MJU-61 training flares.

With Defence assistance Chemring Australia has successfully grown their exports to the United States, leading to a 70 per cent increase in its workforce, bringing staff numbers up to close to 100 in the last 12 months.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, said Australian industry continues to perform outstandingly as part of the global F-35 Program.

This is a significant milestone, not only for Chemring Australia, but for Australia’s Defence industry as a whole. This will create highly-skilled manufacturing jobs in Victoria, as well as opportunities across Chemring Australia’s supply chain for many Australian small businesses from procurement of raw materials, to qualification testing and transportation.

Hon Melissa Price MP

F-35 Program

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation fighter, combining advanced stealth features with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

The F-35 is the Australian Defence Force’s first fifth-generation air combat capability. It is a highly advanced multi-role, supersonic, stealth fighter which will meet Australia’s requirements to defend against current and emerging threats.

Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17 billion AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program – which is aimed at replacing the ageing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985.

The F-35 is developed, produced and supported by an international team of leading aerospace companies including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Pratt & Whitney.

The F-35 global supply chain spans nine partner countries including Australia. To date, more than 50 Australian companies have shared in almost AUD$1.7 billion in production contracts as part of the global F-35 Program, employing over 2,400 Australians.

The Joint Strike Fighter Division within the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) continues to work closely with the US Government and the Prime contractors (Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney) to identify opportunities to expand Australian industry participation in the global F-35 Program.