Northrop Grumman Australia was awarded a contract by the US Department of Defense for maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) work on Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters stationed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Northrop Grumman Australia, as well as BAE Systems, Moog, Ruag, NIOA, Survitec, and GE Aviation, will provide services for 13 of 17 MRO&U component repair technology groups assigned to the Asia-Pacific region, the company said on 22 February. The value of the contract awarded to Northrop Grumman Australia was not disclosed.

Contracted companies will provide regional services for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter, including depot repair for avionics, munitions and weapons delivery, canopy systems, aircraft composite structure, electro-optical systems, electrical components, valves, auxiliary power systems, hydraulics, pneumatics, pneudraulics, hydro-mechanical systems, landing gear, life support and pumps. For its part, Northrop Grumman Australia will deliver avionics, composites (in partnership with Quickstep) and electro-optics repair (in partnership with BAE Systems) services, the company says.

Northrop Grumman says it already provides support to the Royal Australian Air Force’s Airbus KC-30A aerial refueling tanker, Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical transport and other special purpose aircraft.

The award of a maintenance contract to Northrop Grumman Australia comes as the Pentagon roughly outlined the larger F-35 Tier II global repair network on 12 February. The network is responsible only for global work outside the continental United States and only companies within nations that participated in the shared funding and development of the F-35 were eligible to bid on repair service contracts.

The first tranche of repair services will begin in 2021 and will serve all F-35s globally until 2025, says the US Defense Department. Initially, components will be repaired in the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Israel. The second tranche of servicers will focus on the needs of the Asia-Pacific region and will begin repairing parts in 2025. Those countries are Australia, Japan and South Korea.