image-1 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Arrival-1.jpg
description-1 = The F-35A – the variant chosen by the RAAF – will have with a projected life of 30 years in service.
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
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image-2 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/Boeing-X-32-and-LM-X-35.jpg
description-2 = The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) competition was intended to replace existing fighter, strike and ground attack aircraft for the US and allies.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin provided design options, with the Boeing X-32 and the Lockheed Martin X-35.
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image-3 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Manufacture-5.jpg
description-3 = The F-35 variants will roll off the Lockheed Martin production line at Fort Worth, Texas, and similar facilities located in Italy and Japan.
It is projected that the global F-35 fleet will exceed 3,500, with the US the single largest operator, followed by Japan.
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image-4 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Manufacture-4.jpg
description-4 = Australian industry has played a central role in the manufacture of the global F-35 fleet.
This early commitment has seen more than 50 Australian companies participate in various stages of the F-35 program to date, across manufacturing, training, maintenance and sustainment, generating over $1 billion.
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image-5 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Manufacture-3.jpg
description-5 = Defence set the key target for Australian industry participation in the F-35 program to between $6 billion and $9 billion of production and sustainment work through to 2050.
Australian SMEs like RUAG Australia, Varley Group, Quickstep, Ferra and Marand provide components for every F-35 that rolls off the production lines around the world.
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image-6 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Manufacture-2.jpg
description-6 = In early 2015, the US government assigned BAE Systems Australia (Williamtown) the regional F-35 airframe depot maintenance responsibility for the south Asia-Pacific region.
In August 2017, BAE Systems Australia was also assigned the regional warehouse responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region.
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image-7 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Manufacture-1.jpg
description-7 = TAE Aerospace will be responsible for the Asia-Pacific region Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility (TEMF), which will be based in in Bundamba, south-east Queensland.
The Queensland facility will be responsible for deeper-level maintenance, where the F135 engine modules for all variants of the F-35 are disassembled, repaired and reassembled for testing.
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image-8 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Simulator-2.jpg
description-8 = Australian SME, Milskil will be responsible for providing next-generation aircrew training and support services.
Based at Williamtown, Milskil has established itself as a key supporter of the RAAF's transition to a fifth-generation fighting force.
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image-9 = images/Aircraft/Two-Aus-JSFs.png
description-9 = 2018 saw a 40 per cent increase in the production of the F-35 from 2017.
In 2019, Lockheed Martin is set to deliver more than 130 F-35s, representing yet another 40 per cent increase in production.
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image-10 = images/F35JointStrikeFighter/F-35-Arrival-2.jpg
description-10 = Air Commodore Mike Kitcher, Commander Air Combat Group, describes Australia's F-35s as a "catalyst" changing the way the RAAF flies, fights and wins in the 21st century.
"F-35 presents a quantum leap, not only in terms of operational realities, but also technologically. For Air Force in particular, but again also for the wider ADF, F-35 is a catalyst for developing a truly fifth-generation force," AIRCDRE Kitcher told Defence Connect.
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image-11 = images/Aircraft/Australia-JSF.jpg
description-11 = Air Force expects that initial operating capability (IOC) for the F-35 to be delivered by 2020, which will see Australia operating two F-35 squadrons, No. 3 Squadron and No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU), both of which will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Building on this, Kitcher said, it is expected that by end 2020, Australia will have between thirty and thirty-three F-35s in country.
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Photo essay: The history of Australia’s fifth-generation F-35s
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strike & air combat | 25 January 2019 | Stephen Kuper
The F-35 program has been billed as the next generation of both Australia’s defence industry and air combat capability. Take a closer look at the story behind the story that is Australia’s F-35s.
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.
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, US, 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.