skip to Main Content

Hunter Valley to become regional F-35 sustainment hub

BAE Systems Australia has been awarded a $110 million facility services contract by Defence to extend its F-35 Lightning II sustainment and maintenance operations at RAAF Base Williamtown. This is Stage 2 contract is an extension of the company’s $100 million Stage 1 contract, announced in late-2022.

The funding boost will enable BAE Systems Australia to build seven more maintenance bays at its Williamtown facility to increase overall capacity to 13 bays to help service the growing international F-35 fleet in the Indo-Pacific.

This means Newcastle Airport, which includes RAAF Base Williamtown, will be equipped to service Australia’s F-35A Lightning II fleet and could potentially be used by other nations to sustain and service a global F-35 fleet that’s expected to reach more than 3,000 aircraft.

“This contract extension more than doubles our initial investment in the F-35 sustainment hub at Williamtown,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy. “The Albanese Government is continuing to invest in Australian industry, with more than 50% of acquisition and sustainment spent in Australia this financial year – a record number.

“Australian defence industry is already a vital contributor of maintenance and sustainment services for the global F-35 fleet, which is expected to reach more than 3,000 aircraft. Establishing the Hunter as an Indo-Pacific hub for F-35 repair and maintenance is a testament to the high level of skills and knowledge among our defence industry workforce.”

The Government signed the first facility services deed in November 2022 to build four new F-35 maintenance bays at BAE Systems Australia’s South Hangar.

Sixty-three of Australia’s currently planned 72 F-35A Lightning II aircraft have been accepted to date. All 72 of Australia’s F-35A aircraft, based in RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, will be sustained and upgraded at the Hunter facility.

Back To Top