Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR July-August 2015 Contents 21
• In a South Australian government-supported
build, BAE Systems constructed a new advanced
manufacturing facility at Edinburgh Parks, enabling
the company to manufacture large titanium
components for both Defence and commercial
The new facility houses a $10 million machine
tool (BTP5000) that is only the second one of its
kind in the world. It produces high-end titanium
components up to five metres long.
The peak production rate is 190 parts per month.
F-35 titanium manufacturing directly employs 30
people (mix of full time and part time work).
Northrop Grumman contract – integrated
BAE Systems applies advanced manufacturing
techniques to produce high-end components for the
This year, BAE Systems Australia is starting to
manufacture Audio Control Electronic (ACE)
modules, a component for the F-35 aircraft’s
Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI)
avionics suite, developed by Northrop Grumman.
(1000 ACE models valued at around US$15
The Edinburgh Parks site has the only defence
accredited parylene coating capability in Australia
and a 120-strong team to build and assemble parts,
as well as integrate and test the electro-mechanical
Key global F-35 program milestones
2009 - BAE Systems Australia parts production
December 2013 New Advanced Manufacturing
Early 2014 Manufacturing of the ‘long thin spar’
F-35 components starts
March 2014 (Marand) First Australian made
vertical tails for F-35 delivered
July 2014 (Lockheed Martin) First two Australian
F-35s roll out of factory
From September 2014 Long thin spars are
exported to the UK
September 2014 Northrop Grumman ACE
Module agreement signed
Broens involvement in the F-35 program:
With its widely recognised strengths in
innovation and its world-class advanced
manufacturing facilities Broens was well placed
to be one of the first Australian companies
to become involved with the F-35 Joint Strike
The company has been involved with the F-35
program on two separate fronts:
Broens manufactures fixtures and composite tooling
for the vertical tail of the aircraft that is being built by
BAE Systems in the UK. The standard of this work and
the level of trust that was generated resulted in BAE
Systems approving Broens to perform and sign-off on
the quality inspection and qualification of tooling on
behalf of BAE Systems.
Ground Support Equipment
In addition, Broens responded to a Pratt and Whitney
tender that was issued to ground support equipment
(GSE) manufacturers around the world. The company’s
unique and innovative design was shortlisted along
with two other well-known manufacturers. Broens
advanced design and engineering capabilities provided
the company with the competitive edge to successfully
win this significant tender.
This multi-million dollar tender was particularly
challenging in that it came with significant ITAR security
restrictions that made the design and development
phase very complex. Broens had to develop the
concept without access to an engine or a model
of an engine. The challenges were chiefly resolved
because of the company’s extensive knowledge
and experience in GSE and its advanced computer
Broens’ initial design option for the gearbox
jack offered some clear advantages to Pratt and
Whitney and was identified as the best solution.
The two organisations subsequently worked in close
collaboration to refine the concept and produce a final
design that exceeded expectations.
This success was delivered through a combination
of innovative thinking, fast response, collaborative
design process and rapid prototyping.
Chris Flynn, the vice president of Pratt and Whitney
commented, ‘Broens has designed and delivered an
innovative solution to remove and install the F135
engine’s gearbox, safely and easily’.
The depth of Broens’ in-house design experience
was critical to this success. Given that the gearbox
jack will be used on diverse military platforms including
aircraft carriers the design team dealt with such
demanding requirements as ensuring it was operational
in Sea State 6. The ideal design also had to be precise
and controllable and meet mass and centre-of-gravity
requirements. This was all achieved through the use
of advanced computer modelling, FEA (finite element
analysis) and in-house expertise with GSE.
In a final compliment Chris Flynn also said, ‘Broens
have proven to Pratt and Whitney that they have the
management, engineering and manufacturing expertise
to support the F-35 program’.
It is anticipated that, as the JSF program expands
around the globe in coming years, every squadron will
require one or more gearbox jacks.
Broens is well positioned to play a vital role in the
support of the F-35 JSF Program.
Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, the 56th Fighter Wing commander, lands the flagship F-35 Lightning ll
at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 28, 2015. The flagship's arrival coincides with the start of
Luke’s F-35 student pilot training, which begins in May. Luke now has 20 U.S. F-35s and two
from the Royal Australian Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Devante Williams)
2/07/2015 3:31 pm
Asia Pacific Defence Reporter JULY-AUG 2015
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