Home / strike & air combat / Lockheed Martin delivers more F-35A JSF aircraft for Australia

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Lockheed Martin delivers more F-35A JSF aircraft for Australia

Two additional F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft have been delivered by Lockheed Martin to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, US, for Australia.

The two aircraft are expected to join the Royal Australian Air Force fleet next year, and are expected to be used as chase aircraft to assist with the Pilot Training Centre (PTC), supporting the program that's training pilots for the F-35.


Designated A35-013 and A35-014, the two aircraft will fly alongside test planes to monitor their performance.

Air vehicle engineer Namita Jose, of the Joint Strike Fighter Division, said chase operations involved a co-operative aircraft flying at specified flight conditions and profiles, while using its radar and other equipment to test another aircraft’s performance.

“A chase aircraft is required to monitor an aircraft just off the production line to ensure it is operating as expected, by observing its flying characteristics like airspeed, altitudes and limits, as well as checking whether the weapons bay is operating as expected,” Jose said.

“The chase aircraft must ensure it maintains safe deconfliction with the test aircraft and conduct different manoeuvres as required. The chase aircraft will continue to fly with the test aircraft until the test aircraft is signed off as serviceable for use.”



Traditionally, F-16 aircraft have fulfilled the chase role; however with the ramp up in production of the F-35 program, the Joint Strike Fighter is garnering more responsibility for these activities.

Squadron Leader Keith McGrath works in the F-35 production execution team at the US F-35 Joint Program Office and said the availability of aircraft to conduct chase operations was vital for timely production acceptance and delivery of F-35 aircraft worldwide.

“To meet increased demand, the F-35 Program has requested new partner nation aircraft to be used as chase aircraft before delivery to each partner,” SQNLDR McGrath said.

“Partner obligation for each year is based on the number of partner aircraft being produced within that production lot.”

Lockheed Martin delivers more F-35A JSF aircraft for Australia
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

Aug 23 2019
PM highlights Australia’s important relationship with Vietnam
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has delivered a strong endorsement of the importance of the...
Aug 23 2019
Gold Coast prepares to host Australasian Simulation Congress
The team behind the Australasian Simulation Congress 2019 is putting the final touches as subject m...
Aug 22 2019
PODCAST: Cyber security and the defence industry – Michelle Price, AustCyber
AustCyber CEO Michelle Price joins host Phil Tarrant on this week’s episode of the Defence Connect...
Recommended by Spike Native Network