Defence Minister Marise Payne has confirmed the Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) F-35As AU-001 and AU-002 and the EA-18G Growler will be the star attractions at the Avalon Air Show, with the aircraft arriving at the airshow on Friday, 3 March.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne made the announcement today, and said it is fitting that the aircraft will make their first visit to Australia in time for the world-class airshow.
"The Joint Strike Fighter will be joined at the Airshow by Australia’s first EA-18G Growler," Minister Payne said.
"Together, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the EA-18G Growler represent a potent and technologically advanced air combat and strike capability that is essential to our ability to defend Australia and our national interests.
"Australia is the only country outside the United States operating the EA-18G Growler and its arrival represents a significant leap forward in our capability, introducing a dedicated electronic attack capability for the first time."
The aircraft will return to the US via RAAF Base Amberley, allowing Australian pilots to continue their training. The visit is a significant contribution by the US Air Force Training Command and Lockheed Martin to facilitate the deployment from Luke Air Force Base during their training period.
The F-35As will enter Australian service from late 2018, replacing the ageing FA-18A/B ‘Classic’ Hornets. Australia is a strategic partner in the global F-35 JSF program and has committed to 72 aircraft.
More information to follow.