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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.

LATEST COVERAGE

21 Jun 2022
RAAF F-35A fleet hits half a century
Australia’s fifth-generation strike capability has been strengthened by the arrival of new Lockheed Martin-built F-35A fighter jets. ...
F-35A Lightning II aircraft
4 Mar 2022
RAAF F-35 fleet bolstered, new jets touch down
A new tranche of fifth-generation fighter jets has arrived in Australia, marking the first delivery of 2022.   ...
16 Feb 2022
Defence hits back at ‘false and misleading’ F-35 claims
Reports of a forced reduction of the RAAF F-35A fleet’s flight hours have been dismissed by Defence. ...
8 Dec 2021
Defence bolsters investment in local F-35 sustainment
The Commonwealth government has ramped up investment in local F-35A sustainment, which includes the award of a five-year contract to a major defence p...
23 Nov 2021
New F-35As delivered to RAAF
The country’s fleet of fifth-generation fighter jets has been reinforced by the arrival of a new tranche of aircraft, marking the final delivery of...
30 Sep 2021
The F-35 as the foundation of allied deterrence in the Indo-Pacific
Joe North, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, explains why the company’s fifth-generation fighter jet will be the “lynchpin” of allia...
30 Sep 2021
Lockheed Martin conducts F-35 experiment with ADF
The defence contractor has facilitated the sharing of real-time data from its fifth-generation fighter jet’s virtual weapons system during a joint m...
12 Jul 2021
F-35, Wedgetail pilots complete training
Exercise Rogue Ambush 21 has marked the completion of combat aircraft pilot training for the RAAF's latest graduates.  ...
2 Jul 2021
F-35 named as Switzerland’s next-gen fighter jet
The Lockheed Martin-built aircraft has been selected after competing in a competition against alternative contenders. ...
14 Jun 2021
In pictures: Armed F-35 in action at Arnhem Thunder
A closer look at two RAAF F-35s that took flight with a full complement of weapons for the first time. ...
10 Jun 2021
F-35A makes inaugural visit to RAAF Base Tindal
The fifth-generation fighter jet has touched down on its home base for the first time. ...
7 Jun 2021
Lockheed Martin to ramp up F-35 production
The global defence contractor has announced it aims to make 169 F-35 fighter jets in 2022. ...
26 May 2021
Should Australia explore alternatives to an F-35 top-up?
Has the ongoing debate over the future of the US Air Force’s F-35 fleet opened an opportunity for Australia to explore alternatives for the RAAF? ...
26 Apr 2021
F-35 flypast kicks off Anzac Day service
The fifth-generation jet flew over Canberra at midday on Sunday as part of the Anzac Day National Service. ...
9 Feb 2021
First F-35 arrives at BAE Systems facility
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among several senior government and ADF officials to welcome the arrival of the first Lockheed Martin-built Joint St...
15 Jan 2021
US Air Force F-35s, B-2s demonstrate seamless interoperability
Ten F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from the 63rd Fighter Squadron “Panthers” participated in a joint capstone training mission with two B-2 Spiri...
12 Jan 2021
UK F-35Bs to get enhanced strike capability
The UK Royal Navy has signed a £550 million contract for new surface-attack missiles will secure hundreds of UK jobs and provide unrivalled lethality...
11 Jan 2021
Bumper year for F-35 program
Despite the national and international turmoil of COVID-19, 2020 was a gangbuster year for the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter enterprise, delivering...
8 Jan 2021
Pentagon, Lockheed sign $1.28bn F-35 sustainment contract
The F-35 Joint Program Office has awarded the Lockheed Martin industry team a $1.28 billion Undefinitised Contract Action (UCA) to support operation...
28 Dec 2020
Lightning inbound: IOC declared for RAAF F-35 fleet
Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds CSC and Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price have announced a major milestone in the transformation of the Royal ...

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