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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 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...
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...

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