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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.


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...
17 Nov 2020
DST, US Air Force collaboration lets full power of F-35 loose
A team of Defence Science and Technology scientists and engineers have played a pivotal role in supporting the research and development conducted by ...
29 Oct 2020
Marines stand up second Indo-Pacific F-35B squadron
The US Marine Corps has formally re-designated Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 as part of the Mar...
20 Oct 2020
Joint US-Aussie training marks full operational status for RAAF F-35 capability
While Royal Australian Air Force pilots and maintenance trainers based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona wrapped up much of the training presence in ...
19 Oct 2020
Wake Island Airfield to undergo US$87m infrastructure modernisation
The US Air Force Civil Engineer Centre (AFCEC) is executing US$87 million in critical airfield construction at one of the most isolated Air Force ins...
16 Oct 2020
Royal Navy F-35Bs complete live weapons training from HMS Queen Elizabeth
Fighter jets embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth have been undergoing live weapons training in the North Sea – the F-35B Lightning jets have stepped up ...
24 Sep 2020
UK, US F-35Bs join HMS Queen Elizabeth for major exercise
F-35B Lightning jets from the British Royal Air Force and US Marine Corps (USMC) have left RAF Marham to join the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabet...
23 Sep 2020
RAAF officially accepts 30th F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
The Royal Australian Air Force has formally accepted its 30th F-35A Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin, as the nation’s fifth-generation figh...
18 Sep 2020
‘A truly generational leap in capability’: Air Combat Group Commander spruiks JSF
The F-35 has suffered its fair share of criticisms, but Australia’s growing fleet of fifth-generation super jets appears to have shrugged this off t...
17 Sep 2020
RAF, US Marine, Air Force fighters join NATO allies for joint exercise
Fighter aircraft from the Royal Air Force, US Marines, US Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force have joined forces to conduct large scale air ...
16 Sep 2020
BAE secures EW contract to enhance F-35 electronic warfare system
BAE Systems has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin for the production and delivery of additional electronic warfare (EW) systems for Lot 1...
10 Sep 2020
US F-35B jets arrive at RAF Base Marham for the first time
Aircraft from US Marine Fighter Attack (VMFA) – 211 Squadron arrived at RAF Marham on Tuesday to start their UK detachment. The 10 F-35B jets flew ...
1 Sep 2020
Aussie industry delivers 1,000th F-35 infrared imaging capability
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have congratulated the Australian arm of Collins Aerospace for delivering ...
31 Aug 2020
US Air Force Fourth Fighter Squadron wraps up training in Alaska
The US Air Force’s 388th Fighter Wing’s 4th Fighter Squadron, along with Reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, returned to Hill Air Force Base ...
21 Aug 2020
F-35’s leading role in driving aviation innovation, today and into the future
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, despite its teething problems, is earmarked as one of the most transformational air combat capabilities in human histor...
20 Aug 2020
Step up plans to replace JSF now: ASPI policy expert
While the ‘new car smell’ is still fresh in the Royal Australian Air Force’s new F-35s, ASPI senior analyst Malcolm Davis has set the RAAF and ...
19 Aug 2020
RAAF, partners prepare for next phase of Exercise Pitch Black
Despite restrictions caused by COVID-19 cancelling the 2020 iteration of Exercise Pitch Black, Royal Australian Air Force planners are preparing for t...
7 Aug 2020
F-35 diversion training carried out into RAAF Base Richmond
Plans for three Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft from No. 3 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown to conduct diversion training into...
4 Aug 2020
Lockheed Martin offers F-35 to Canadian Air Force
Lockheed Martin has once again offered the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s ageing fleet of CF-1...
29 Jul 2020
USAF demonstrates growing interoperability of country-wide F-35 fleet
More than 150 personnel from Eielson Air Force Base and the 356th Fighter Squadron and 18th Aggressor Squadron headed south to Joint Base Elmendorf-R...

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