15 March 2023

BAE Systems to set up Asia-Pacific F-35 warehouse in Australia

UK aerospace company BAE Systems will establish an Australia-based Asia-Pacific regional F-35 warehouse under a new contract with US space company Lockheed Martin. The warehouse will store replenishment spares for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

The Australian warehouse is the third facility in the global support solution for the F-35 program. The other warehouses are in the Netherlands and United States.

Supporting F-35 operations across the region

The warehouse will be built at BAE Systems’ aircraft sustainment operations in Williamtown, regional New South Wales. It will be co-located with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base in Williamtown.

In addition to maintaining RAAF F-35 aircraft, the facility will support F-35 variants operating in the region. This includes US Navy and Royal Navy carrier aircraft and US Marine Corps F-35Bs operating out of Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

Lockheed Martin uses advanced data analytics to optimise readiness of F-35 fleets across the world. The company keeps critical parts at warehouses across the F-35 logistics network so it can respond to ‘changing operational priorities and tempo’. (Source: Australian Defence Magazine, BAE Systems to build F-35 regional warehouse, 16 January 2023).

A F-35A Lightning II aircraft taxis to the lines at RAAF Base Williamtown, in New South Wales. Credit: Department of Defence

Long-term job growth

The regional warehouse will create around 20 immediate jobs. It will lead to more than 500 long-term F-35 sustainment jobs in future years.

‘For 30 years, we have provided maintenance and upgrades to the Royal Australian Air Force jets,’ says Andrew Gresham, Managing Director for Defence Delivery at BAE Systems Australia.

‘The inclusion of the Asia-Pacific Regional Warehouse not only increases Australia’s global defence footprint, it cements Williamtown as an aerospace hub.

‘This means more local jobs within the Hunter Region for years to come.’ 

Opportunities in Australia’s defence industry

Defence is a priority sector for Australia. Under the 2020 Force Structure Plan, Australia is investing A$270 billion in defence capability over the next 10 years. The country is also investing A$9.9 billion over 10 years in national intelligence and cyber capabilities.

There are investment opportunities in naval shipbuilding, maritime, air, land and space. There are also partnership opportunities to deliver future-focused defence technologies.

Find out more about Australia’s defence industry.