Premier Denis Napthine congratulated Marand on the handover of its first completed Victorian made F-35 vertical tail assembly – an integral part of the US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – to BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin.

Marand is manufacturing three key elements of the JSF program in Victoria for Lockheed Martin: vertical tails (via BAE Systems); engine installation trailers; and F-35 airframe tooling.

“Marand has worked hard to become part of the JSF program by supplying a sophisticated piece of equipment to the world’s largest collaborative defence and aerospace program,” Dr Napthine said.

“This program has the potential to deliver Marand over $1 billion in sales over the course, which is great news for the community, great news for the Victorian economy and a tribute to the company’s drive and innovation.

“Victorian companies have secured 70 per cent of JSF contracts awarded in Australia and Marand highlights the advanced aviation capabilities on offer in Victoria.

“The company has operated in Victoria for the past 45 years, employs 250 highly skilled people and has a substantial turnover of about $70 million.”

Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett said Marand’s contribution to the internationally significant JSF project placed Victoria’s defence and aerospace manufacturing industry at the forefront of Australia’s connection to the industry’s global supply chains.

“The Government has worked closely with Marand in the past and has supported the company’s participation in trade missions to China, ASEAN, India, UK and the USA,” Mr Hodgett said.

“Marand was the winner of the 2012 Large Business category of the Victorian Manufacturers Hall of Fame awards after having been inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Importantly, the Government also provided Marand with an Investment Support Program (ISP) grant in 2011 to help establish a manufacturing operation in Geelong and to upgrade the company’s Moorabbin plant to enable it to manufacture the JSF vertical tails, airframe tooling and other aerospace and defence work.”

Minister for the Aviation Industry Gordon Rich-Phillips said Marand supplies precision engineered solutions to a range of industries across the world, including aerospace, defence, rail, automotive, mining and clean energy sectors.

“Marand’s customer base is predominantly made up of large global companies such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, Ford, Holden, Rio Tinto and BHP,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.“The JSF F-35 is being assembled in Fort Worth, Texas and the first two of Australia's initial order of 14 F-35’s are expected to be delivered later this year.”