The first two RAAF F-35A Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) touched down in Australia for the first time ever at the Avalon International Airshow on Friday.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne were at the event to welcome the aircraft.
Prime Minister Turbull said the arrival of the JSFs was a great day for engineering, for innovation and for Australian enterprise.
The two JSFs visiting Australia are part of the F-35 project to develop fifth-generation fighters. The AU-001 and AU-002 are the first two Australia JSFs to be delivered out of the 72 Australia has ordered.
Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne also noted the importance of this project for Australian enterprise, mentioning that there are already 32 businesses working within the project, for a value of $800 million, and the project is expected to deliver 5,000 workers in Australia by 2023.
The two JSFs, AU-001 and AU-002 flew from the Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona via Hawaii, Guam and RAAF Base Amberley.
The two aircraft were piloted by WGCDR Andrew Jackson and SQNLDR Andrew Bell.
The aircraft will return to the US upon completion of the airshow this weekend, to resume their duties as part of the international training pool at Luke AFB.
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