Australia's Department of Defence is evaluating 150 proposals solicited from domestic universities and research agencies for possible inclusion in future upgrades of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

DoD officials say the move is aimed at ensuring a role for local industry in the later years of the F-35 programme, on top of workshare already secured. Proposals solicited over the past year are being jointly evaluated by the DoD and industry, says Mike Lyons, executive director of the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation's JSF industry team.

The proposals are being circulated among Australian state governments, domestic industry and universities to assess their viability. "For the future we have proposals on data fusion, structural integrity assessment, self-protection countermeasures, autonomous systems - that is intelligent agents - and that sort of thing," says Lyons.

Nearer-term proposals focus on "developments that might be able to be put on the JSF or its offboard systems in prognostics and health management", he adds. The move also generated proposals for alternative manufacturing technologies including metals machining and composites production.

Source: Flight International