WASHINGTON, 18 Dec. 2014. U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) officials have assigned F-35 Regional Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul, and Upgrade (MRO&U) capability for airframes and engines for the Asia Pacific Region.
Participating nations were provided with requirements for Regional MRO&U, or "heavy maintenance" needs for both F-35 engine and airframe. Each country was afforded the opportunity to work with their industrial base to provide the F-35 enterprise work over and above their own F-35 needs. Regional considerations, such as forward basing, aircraft phasing, and transportation, also contributed to initial assignment decisions.
In the Pacific region, F-35 airframe MRO&U capability will be provided by Japan for the Northern Pacific and Australia for the Southern Pacific, with both capabilities required not later than early 2018.
For heavy F-35 engine maintenance, the initial capability will be provided by Australia by early 2018, with Japan providing additional capability at least 3-5 years later.
These maintenance assignments do not preclude the opportunity for other F-35 Partners and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers, including those assigned initial airframe and engine capabilities, to participate and be assigned additional future sustainment work, to include component and system repairs, as the fleet grows and F-35 forward presence expands.
"This is another example of the continuing expansion of global sustainment opportunities for the international F-35 community," says F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan. "The F-35 international users will remain a vital part of the support structure of the Program. Their continuing participation is critical to driving down cost and getting the best-value for the F-35 team and improving the strength of the global sustainment base for many years to come."