Minister to Spruik our Defence Industry in Washington

05 Oct 2016 Media release

The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP will visit Washington DC on 5 – 6 October to sell the merits of Australian Defence Industry, particularly our capability to be a regional maintenance hub for the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Minister Pyne will meet with senior United States defence officials and industry executives and provide an opportunity to discuss Australian defence industry cooperation.

“The Australian Government is embarking on its largest ever renewal and investment into defence capability with approximately $195 billion spent over the next decade.

“We will only be successful in this ambitious effort if we work in partnership with our friends and allies and for Australia there is no more important bilateral defence relationship than the alliance with the United States.

“During my visit to Washington I will highlight the strength of the Australian defence industry to key decision makers in the US Government, particular our eagerness to expand our role as a regional maintenance hub for the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

“Australian businesses have consistently demonstrated their ability to meet the requirements of the Joint Strike Fighter project, which is one of the most complicated and technical defence manufacturing projects in the world."

"It would be a major win for our defence industry if Australia wins the contract to maintain, repair, overhaul and upgrade the Joint Strike Fighters in the South East Asian region, with the potential to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

Australian companies have won more than $800 million worth of production and development contracts for the Joint Strike Fighter Programme. The Department of Defence predicts that figure will rise to at least $2 billion by 2023.

During his visit to the US Minister Pyne will also deliver the keynote address to the National Defense Industrial Association.