The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has accepted the first two of 15 F-35A deployable cabins ordered from Lockheed Martin Australia.
The Deployable Duty Facility (DDF) cabins manufactured by the Hunter-based company Varley Group using Australian Steel, were handed over for fit-out at Royal Australian Air Force Base, Williamtown. The next generation of classified transportable spaces are an essential component for operating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems to support Australia’s F-35A aircraft.
Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Vince Di Pietro, said that the ADF’s formal acceptance of the deployable facilities was an important milestone in the lead up to arrival of Australia’s first two F-35A aircraft.
“The deployable cabins are an evolutionary development and play a critical role in operating and maintaining Australia’s F-35 fleet whether from their home base or deployed further afield.” said Vince. “DDF mission system evolution involves the digital development of our deployable facilities and has the ability to accommodate the full operator workforce needed to utilise fully F-35 capability when deployed from home base.”
“When operating the F-35, off board information systems are required to operate seamlessly in operational scenarios, these Australian built and designed cabins make this possible,” Vince explained.
Christopher Pyne, the Australian Minister of Defence, said the Commonwealth’s formal acceptance of the deployable facilities was an important milestone for the full operation of Air Force’s F-35A aircraft.
“The deployable cabins are a critical part of operating and maintaining the Air Force’s new fighter aircraft, whenever they are deployed away from their future homes at RAAF Bases Williamtown and Tindal,” Minister Pyne said. “All 15 deployable cabins will provide transportable, secure workspaces for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to support operations and maintenance activities as part of the future networked ADF.”
Steven Ciobo, the Minister for Defence Industry, said this was another strong example of opportunities in Australia’s expanding defence industry being taken up by companies in regional areas.
“The deployable cabins were built by Varley Group in Newcastle, NSW using Australian steel, creating 20 jobs at Varley and another 50 local jobs in the Hunter region supply chain,” Minister Ciobo said. “The F-35 Program has had a positive impact on Australia’s growing defence industry, which has collectively been awarded in excess of $1 billion in production contracts as part of the global program. This will support up to 5000 Australian jobs by 2023.”
Lockheed Martin Australia, with headquarters in Canberra, employs more than 1000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.