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AIT Canada's F-35 Work Prompts Ministry Visit

Canada's Participation in the Multinational Joint Strike Fighter Program Supports Canadian Workers

DELTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jan 19, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, today visited two British Columbia companies receiving additional work as a direct result of the Government of Canada's decision to participate in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Minister Fantino helped mark important production milestones in the multinational development of new state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter fleets at Avcorp Industries Inc. in Delta and Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) in Aldergrove.

"Canada's decision to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter Program is resulting in additional opportunities for Canadian workers that otherwise would not have existed - including right here in British Columbia," said Minister Fantino. "I am pleased to join the skilled Canadian workers at AIT and Avcorp today whose world-class expertise is having a direct impact on supporting our country's long tradition of contributing to international stability alongside our allies."

In July 2010, Avcorp Industries Inc. announced a contract with BAE Systems Operations Ltd. to manufacture the outboard wings for the F-35 Carrier Variant that will now be shipped to Lockheed Martin's assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas. Meanwhile, Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) Canada is responsible for producing the Electronic Mate and Assembly System (EMAS) that ensures the precise fusion of the wings and major parts of the plane's body during the aircraft's assembly. The positioners are being shipped to the production facility in Italy. AIT has delivered seven sets of positioners which are currently in use at Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

"The milestones we are highlighting today demonstrate the positive results our decision to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter Program is having for skilled Canadian workers," added Minister Fantino. "We are committed to working with our allies to develop the state-of-the-art aircraft that our brave men and women agree provides them with the best probability of mission success well into the future."

This announcement demonstrates how Canadians are benefiting from the government's decision to participate with its allies in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter Program. Some 65 Canadian companies have already received approximately US$370 million in contracts related to the development and early production of F-35 parts and subsystems. This is nearly a two-to-one return on Canada's investment in the JSF Program to date.

The F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter is an investment in the future, designed to provide air forces with a relevant and capable fighter well into this century. Replacing the aging CF-18 Hornet as the Canadian Forces' next generation of fighter aircraft, the F-35 gives our fighter pilots the technology to succeed and the best chances of returning home safely from their missions. The CF-18 will have served nearly 40 years by the end of this decade with technology that is becoming increasingly obsolete. Canada is not simply acquiring a fighter jet - we are a partner in a multinational effort to develop and field a fighter jet suited for the 21st century.

About Avcorp Industries

With facilities in Delta, British Columbia, and Burlington, Ontario, Avcorp designs and builds major airframe structures for some of the world's leading aircraft companies, including Boeing, Bombardier and Cessna.

About Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) Canada

AIT Canada designs, engineers, and manufactures a broad range of custom equipment, machines, and finished materials used throughout the world. AIT teams have designed, manufactured, installed, and enhanced large airframe automated alignment systems in production throughout aerospace industry.

Notes to editor / news director:

For more information on the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and the JSF program, please visit the following websites:

- National Defence at: www.forces.gc.ca/site/f35

- Backgrounder - Industrial Participation - Joint Strike Fighter Program: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4066

- Industry Canada at: www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ad-ad.nsf/eng/ad03863.html

- Joint Strike Fighter Project Office at: www.jsf.mil

- Lockheed Martin at: www.thef35.com or www.f35.ca


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