The Australian government will lobby the United States for more work on the global programme to build the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra said on 29 September.
The focus of the effort is to secure more "jobs and opportunities for [Australian] small businesses in the defence supply chain", said Melissa Price, Australia's defence industry minister. Price added that during a visit to the US she plans to discuss Australian involvement in the F-35 programme with Ellen Lord, US under secretary of defence for acquisition and sustainment.
The Australian DoD said opportunities for a deepened industrial role on the F-35 were emerging following the US᾿s decision to remove Turkey from the programme: a response to Ankara's move to procure the S-400 air-defence system from Russia.
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