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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.


Joe North
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 ...
9 Dec 2020
Lockheed Martin Australia secures JSF training support services contract
The Australian government has announced Lockheed Martin Australia has secured a sovereign Training Support Services contract, which will boost Austra...
9 Dec 2020
Aussie businesses to benefit from new F-35 industry support program
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced the launch of a new industry support program to assist Aus...
9 Dec 2020
Quickstep celebrates 10,000th F-35 component
Sydney-based carbon fibre composites manufacturer Quickstep has announced the production of its 10,000th component for the global F-35 Joint Strike Fi...
5 Dec 2020
US Marines declare IOC for 3rd Marine Air Wing F-35Cs
The US Marine Corps has taken the next step in maintaining air superiority as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 declares their initial operational ca...
23 Nov 2020
Allied interoperability on display with global F-35 exercises
The Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force have successfully participated in Exercise Lightning Spear at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, from 12 t...

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