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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.


20 May 2020
Lockheed Martin Marietta team delivers 500th F-35 centre wing
Lockheed Martin’s Marietta F-35 team marked a major milestone in the F-35 program, delivering the 500th centre wing (CW) – the milestone CW will ...
5 May 2020
Northrop Grumman kick starts development of 5th-Gen net-centric gateway
Northrop Grumman has initiated the development and fielding a gatewayONE prototype, an open system enabling translation and communication across plat...
4 May 2020
Aussie SME wins big with global F-35 supply contract
A Geelong-based company has been awarded a significant contract with the US Navy under the global F-35 Program, cementing Australia’s reputation as ...
2 May 2020
USAF celebrates milestone for F-35A operational stand-up
The US Air Force’s first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II wing is sending aircraft to the Air Force’s newest F-35A wing to help speed its stand-u...
1 May 2020
Regional workers benefit from next-gen Air Force capability
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced a positive sign that the wheels of Australia’s defence industry are still turning – regiona...
29 Apr 2020
Pentagon, F-35 JPO suggest stop-gap fixes for key issues
The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has put in place stop-gap fixes for five key technical flaws plaguing America’s top-end fighter jet, though the...
25 Mar 2020
Australian industry first to support fifth-gen F-35 program
In a major milestone for Australia’s defence industry, the Rheinmetall NIOA joint venture will play a pivotal role in supporting the US F-35 Joint ...
17 Mar 2020
Pop the hood! RAAF and industry combine to check JSF engine
A team of RAAF personnel and industry partners have collaborated to remove an engine from one of the Air Force’s new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, usi...
6 Mar 2020
Wrong, Elon: Fighter pilot community pushes back against Musk
He’s controversial, he’s wealthy and he’s drawn the ire of the global fighter pilot community – now US Air Force fighter pilots and senior le...
5 Mar 2020
Lockheed Martin celebrates F-35 production milestone
Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office delivered the 500th F-35 on Tuesday. The watershed moment came as a US Air Force F-35A was delivere...
4 Mar 2020
USAF promotes ‘synergy-centered’ maintenance for F-35A capability rates
As capable as the F-35A is proving itself to be on the battlefield – it can be just as capable in reliability and quick combat ‘turns’ when ma...
3 Mar 2020
Defence signs multimillion-dollar contract for JATTS
Defence has signed a $330 million contract with Raytheon Australia to deliver Joint Adversarial Training and Testing Services (JATTS) to the Australia...
27 Feb 2020
NSW business pursues continued success in global F-35 program
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price and NSW senator Jim Molan, AO, DSC, have joined Queanbeyan-based Lintek’s cutting-edge manufacturing system...
25 Feb 2020
Agreement enhances Australia’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter capability
Australia’s F-35A Lightning II capability has taken a step forward with the opening of the Australian and UK F-35 Reprogramming Laboratory. ...
24 Feb 2020
TAE Aerospace completes first F135 engine turbine repair outside US
Ipswich-based TAE Aerospace has successfully completed the repair of its first Pratt & Whitney F135 engine fan module for the F-35 Lightning II J...
13 Feb 2020
USAF demonstrates F-35A capabilities at Red Flag ’20
The latest F-35A equipped squadron of the US Air Force, the 421st Fighter Squadron, is bringing the fifth-generation fighter to its first Red Flag exe...
6 Feb 2020
Lockheed Martin responds to concerns about Pentagon-identified F-35A issues
Following a revelatory report by the Pentagon’s Robert Behler, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), that revealed hundreds of ...
5 Feb 2020
Cracks appearing on new F-35As due to gun use
The Pentagon has issued a restriction order for Lot 9 and newer Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters after the discovery of cracks in the aircr...
23 Jan 2020
RUAG upgrades Aussie Hydraulic Actuator Centre of Excellence
RUAG Australia has completed a major upgrade to its Hydraulic Actuator Centre of Excellence manufacturing facilities at its Bayswater, Australia, loca...
23 Jan 2020
US Army and US Air Force team up to demonstrate multi-domain operations
Two US Air Force F-35s integrated with the US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defence Battle Command System (IBCS), have provided an airborne sensor c...

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