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Aust firms fighter work on rise says Pyne

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016 Max Blenkin, Defence Correspondent

Australian companies can expect business worth up to $2.5 billion from work on the Lockheed F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter, parliament has been told.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, who travelled to the US last week to promote Australian defence business, said 30 Australian firms had already won contracts worth $800 million to make JSF components.

"And we expect that that will rise to between $2-2.5 billion by 2023," he told MPs on Monday.

Mr Pyne said Australian firms were able to secure JSF work because Australia was a partner in the program and not just a customer.

Australia was already the regional maintenance hub for JSF engines and airframes and Mr Pyne said he was pressing for that to also include JSF components such as avionics and landing gear.

"I feel very hopeful we will be able to be the regional hub for the maintenance and sustainment of the joint strike fighter," he said.

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