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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is billed as a catalyst for the fifth-generation revolution, changing the face and capability of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF).

For the RAAF, the F-35A's combination of full-spectrum low-observable stealth coatings and materials, advanced radar-dispersing shaping, network-centric sensor and communications suites – combined with a lethal strike capability – means the aircraft will be the ultimate force multiplying, air-combat platform.

The F-35A – the variant chosen by the RAAF – will have with a projected life of 30 years in service.

Ten nations are currently flying F-35s, including the US, UK, Italy, Norway, Israel and Japan. The first of Australia’s F-35A aircraft are now based on home soil after a period of training and development at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona USA, plus an epic Pacific Ocean crossing In December 2018.

More than 340 F-35s are operating today with partner nations, more than 700 pilots and 6,500 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 170,000 cumulative flight hours.

Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17 billion AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program – which is aimed at replacing the ageing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985.


15 Oct 2019
US Air Force to maximise F-35 operational and mission readiness capabilities
The US Air Force’s 388th Fighter Wing has shifted focus towards enhancing the operational capability and mission readiness of the F-35 Joint Strike ...
1 Oct 2019
Flying the flag for Australia’s defence industry in the US
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced that she will head to the US to lobby for increased Australian industry participation in the gl...
30 Sep 2019
Brainstorming: Developing a flexible, deployable air combat capability
As Australia continues to welcome a growing number of fifth-generation F-35s to the Royal Australian Air Force inventory, developing a reliable concep...
12 Sep 2019
Photo Essay: RAAF’s F-35 fleet grows
Two more F-35A Lightning II aircraft have arrived to Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown to link up with No. 3 Squadron (3SQN). ...
8 Aug 2019
Maximising the role of a 5th-generation air force in projecting national power
PhD candidate Peter Hunter’s special report for ASPI has presented a series of important questions about the future of the Royal Australian Air Forc...
8 Aug 2019
Lockheed Martin expands multi-domain capability of the F-35
Lockheed Martin, the US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense (AIAMD) Project Office and US Air Force successfully integrated F-35 track data with...
2 Aug 2019
Enhancing support for Australia’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced a five-year, $91 million agreement between Defence and Lock...
29 Jul 2019
F-35 program starts addition of ‘life-saving’ software
The F-35 Joint Program Office, US Air Force and Lockheed Martin have announced they have begun the integration of the Automatic Ground Collision Avoid...
22 Jul 2019
Turkey kicked out of F-35 program
The US has confirmed it will remove Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program due to the country’s decision to purchase a Russian missile system. ...
16 Jul 2019
Trump announces further F-35 Lightning II sustainment work
While visiting Lockheed Martin-owned company Derco in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US President Donald Trump has announced more sustainment work for the comp...
1 Jul 2019
Students get inside look at F-35 program
Hundreds of Hunter Valley students have toured BAE Systems Australia’s Williamtown facility to learn about maintaining and upgrading jet aircraft f...
18 Jun 2019
Lockheed Martin hits back at F-35 concerns
Lockheed Martin has released a series of statements addressing concerns from a recent report about the F-35 program’s timeline and performance. ...
18 Jun 2019
F-35 sustainment target in the sights for BAE Systems
BAE Systems Australia technicians are now working alongside the RAAF to complete on-the-job training as a blended Australian maintenance workforce sup...
12 Jun 2019
Pentagon and Lockheed Martin agree on $49bn F-35 production contract
Lockheed Martin has announced it has reached a handshake agreement with the US Department of Defense for the F-35 Lot 12 production contract, with opt...
5 Jun 2019
Program milestones for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet
The global F-35 fleet has has achieved 200,000 flight hours across global operations, a significant milestone that demonstrates the program’s progr...
23 May 2019
BAE Systems UK manufacturing facility achieves F-35 milestone
BAE Systems production facilities in Samlesbury, Lancashire, has celebrated a significant milestone in the manufacturing of the F-35 Lightning II, jus...
10 May 2019
Parts of Japan’s crashed F-35A recovered
Japan has confirmed it has recovered parts of the flight data recorder (FDR) from the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that crashed a ...
10 May 2019
Increasing the strike and air-to-air combat capabilities of the F-35
Lockheed Martin has revealed a new weapon mounting rack to enable the F-35 A and C variants to carry two more missiles internally – increasing the a...
6 May 2019
RAAF F-35s commence first training at Salt Ash Air Weapons Range
No. 3 Squadron F-35 Joint Strike Fighters based at RAAF Base Williamtown will conduct the first round of training for the fifth-generation aircraft ov...
9 Apr 2019
Australian SMEs expand Air Force air combat capability support
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds have announced that a series of Australian SMEs will increase their ro...

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