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Chemring Australia secures F-35 flare deal

An F-35A Lightning II releases a flare while inverted over Hill Air Force Base during a demonstration practice Feb. 10, 2020, at Hill AFB, Utah
Photo: US Air Force

The US Navy has awarded Chemring Australia a $107.5 million contract for the delivery of flares for the global F-35 fighter aircraft program.

Chemring Australia, based in Lara, will produce and deliver countermeasure flares for Australian, US and international F-35 operators.

Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said the contract represented a culmination of a multi-year joint effort between the US government, the Australian government and Chemring Group to qualify Chemring Australia to produce countermeasures for the global F-35 fleet.

“This is a strong endorsement of our domestic manufacturing capability, and the policies we’ve put in place to bolster our sovereign defense capability,” minister Reynolds said.

“This contract will also aid the ongoing advancement of a domestic munitions manufacturing capability – one of 10 sovereign industry capability priorities under our Defence Industrial Capability Plan.”

Since 2011, Chemring Group and the Australian defense ministry have worked closely with the US Navy’s Naval Air System team to qualify Chemring Australia as the second source supplier of the MJU-68 countermeasure, and MJU-61 training flares.

The Australian defense ministry noted that more than 50 Australian companies have so far shared in almost AUD$1.7 billion in production contracts as part of the global F-35 program.