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Stealth fighter jets to boost NSW’s defence industry

24 April 2014
The Federal Government’s decision to purchase up to 72 F-35 Light­ning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft will boost NSW’s advanced defence industry. The purchase is expected to cost around $12.4 billion.
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Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said NSW was set to play a major role in supporting and servicing the new US stealth fighter jets.

“This is great news for Newcastle, with RAAF Base Williamtown to be one of two main bases planned to take the new Joint Strike Fighters, where up to $1.6 billion will be invested in the construction of new facilities and infrastructure,” Mr Stoner said.

”This purchase of these jets and basing them at Williamtown – along with RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory – enables us to position NSW as the Asia Pacific regional hub for repair and maintenance of the F35 fighters for a number of nations planning on buying them.”

Basing the jets in NSW will provide other exciting opportunities for businesses involved in the defence sector, such as:

  • Bankstown-based Quickstep, which is involved in the manufacturing process of the planes’ skins.
  • NSW engineering firm Broens, which helps make engine parts for the jet.
  • Hunter company Varley, which manufactures ground support equipment for the fighter jet.
  • Williamtown-based BAE Systems also has significant fast jet maintenance capabilities so is well positioned to provide support for the new stealth fighters.

The NSW Government will continue to advocate for NSW-based suppliers and manufacturers undertaking the jets’ related production and support work.

Image credit Jordan Tan/

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