Australia accepts latest batch of F-35s

Image via Twitter @MarisePayne

Australia has taken delivery of its next three fifth-generation F-35A aircraft from Lockheed Martin. 

Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne congratulated Defence and Lockheed Martin on reaching the milestone.

Minister Payne said Australia's F-35 program is on track to provide Australia with a fifth-generation aircraft at the forefront of air combat technology.

"These latest aircraft are fitted with the program’s final software system, which unlocks the aircraft’s full war-fighting potential including weapons, mission systems and flight performance," Minister Payne said.

"The stealthy, advanced F-35A is a step change in the Australian Defence Force’s capabilities, giving Australia an edge against the emergence of advanced capabilities in our region."

Acceptance of the three latest aircraft makes Australia the first international partner to accept jets with Block 3F capability.

Minister Pyne said this is another significant point in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Australia now has five aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where RAAF pilots are currently training. Five more aircraft are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2018.

Minister Pyne said the economic benefits of the program are being felt at a local level, wither over 50 Australian companies part of the program's supply chain.

“More than 50 Australian companies have directly shared in more than $1 billion in production contracts to date, providing further opportunities to small and medium Australian businesses which benefit through supply chain work," Minister Pyne said.

"In 2016, the F-35 Program supported more than 2,400 jobs across Australia, which is set to grow to 5,000 by 2023.'

The Australian government is investing in 72 F-35A Lightning II aircraft to replace the current fleet of 71 ageing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets.

 

 

Australia accepts latest batch of F-35s
lawyersweekly logo
FROM THE WEB
Recommended by Spike Native Network

more from defence connect

Oct 20 2018
Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems to build new Canadian surface fleet
The Canadian Government has unveiled the preferred design and bidder to build fifteen new surface co...
Riccardo Bosi, Lionheart
Oct 18 2018
PODCAST: How a focus on better leadership can lead to a stronger economy, Riccardo Bosi, Lionheart Australasia
Following his 24 years in defence industry, Riccardo Bosi has seen success as a leader across multip...
Oct 19 2018
Global wrap-up: Lockheed Martin seeking supply chain partners for Indian F-16s; the US Navy secures next 10 Guided Missile Destroyers
This global wrap-up provides key updates of industry developments across the globe, including new pr...