New F-35 bombs now made in Australia

Thales Australia has completed the first production lot of a new Australian-made munition for the Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35.

FILE PHOTO (2006): Mk 82 500lb bombs ready for loading on a RAAF flightline. The BLU 111 is a variant of the Mk 82, with a more stable explosive. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Steve Duncan.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said workers in Benalla, Victoria, and Mulwala, NSW, had reached a milestone in delivering Australia’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter capability.

“This milestone is a positive sign that the wheels of Australia’s defence industry were still turning,” Minister Price said.

“The new BLU-111 will have the same range and performance metrics as current general-purpose bombs, but will be significantly safer to store, transport and operate.

“Fifteen Australian companies, including five small businesses, are delivering this important capability for Defence.

“This work establishes a strategically important sovereign manufacturing capability to support the Australian Defence Force

“It is a practical example of the government’s ongoing commitment to domestic manufacturing of munitions, which is one of the 10 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities under the 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan.”

The government released the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Industry Plan for Munitions and Small Arms Research, Design, Development and Manufacture last year.

More information about the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities can be found here.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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