Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA

Website Notifications

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

Allied interoperability on display with global F-35 exercises

The Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force have successfully participated in Exercise Lightning Spear at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, from 12 to 28 October, expanding the interoperability of the common platform.

The Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force have successfully participated in Exercise Lightning Spear at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, from 12 to 28 October, expanding the interoperability of the common platform.

The exercise was an important continuation training for No. 3 Squadron personnel in line with their ongoing focus of the integration of people and systems for the F-35A. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Officer Commanding No. 81 Wing Group Captain John Haly said the exercise demonstrated crucial capability of the growing Lightning force in Australia. 

GPCAPT Haly said, “Working with the United States Air Force provides important military-to-military engagement opportunities for Air Force to build on our shared understanding of a platform we both operate. Our Air Force team has used this exercise to further develop their skills as world-class air and ground crew.”

The team then conducted Exercise Lightning Ferry to bring an additional nine Lightning aircraft back to Australia. 

The aircraft travelled from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, to RAAF Base Williamtown via Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, sustained by Air Force’s KC-30A multi-role tanker transports.

GPCAPT Haly said the support provided to Air Combat Group by Air Force’s Air Mobility Group and Combat Support Group contributed to Exercise Lightning Ferry’s success. 

PROMOTED CONTENT

“The ferry allowed us to demonstrate our ability to deploy a significant fighter capability halfway across the world in a short period of time,” he said.

With these new additions, Air Force now has 30 F-35A Lightning II aircraft in Australia of the planned 72-strong fleet.  

All Air Force personnel involved in Exercises Lightning Spear and Lightning Ferry followed strict isolation and quarantine protocols, in line with national and state requirements.

Subscribe to the Defence Connect daily newsletter.
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the defence industry.

“Our maintenance, logistics, administration, operations, electrician and air load personnel work together to make our force truly expeditionary,” GPCAPT Haly added.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is billed as a catalyst for the fifth-generation revolution, changing the face and capability of the Royal Australian Air Force and the wider Australian Defence Force.

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.

The F-35A – the variant chosen by the RAAF – will have with a projected life of 30 years in service.

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 AFB in Arizona, plus an epic Pacific Ocean crossing In December 2018.

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.

Allied interoperability on display with global F-35 exercises
Ex-Lightning-Spear-RAAF-F-35A.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

The inaugural Defence Connect AIC Summit will place you with key decision-makers and stakeholders within the defence industry to discuss the government’s intention to improve AIC and increase the nation’s sovereign production, defence capability and resilience. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this event, register for free today to attend the live stream on 22 October. Register your interest to attend, visit: www.defenceconnect.com.au/aic-summit

more from defence connect

Sep 23 2021
HMAS Gascoyne deploys on live mine disposal ops
The Royal Australian Navy's Huon Class minehunter coastal HMAS Gascoyne is conducting a live mine disposal activity on its latest...
nuclear engineering program
Sep 23 2021
$1m donation expands Australia’s only nuclear engineering program
The Sir William Tyree Foundation has made a $1 million donation to support UNSW’s expanding nuclear engineering program and fost...
Sep 23 2021
PODCAST: Unpacking AUKUS — Australia’s nuclear submarine deal
In this episode of the Defence Connect Podcast, editor of Defence Connect Liam Garman and news editor Charbel Kadib join host Phil...