Australia’s first F-35s arrive home to RAAF Williamtown
Australia’s first two locally based F-35 fighter aircraft have arrived on home soil at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Williamtown, signalling the dawn of a new era for the nation’s defence capabilities.
Lockheed Martin designed and built Australia’s fleet of F-35s and also serves as the global industry lead for F-35 sustainment.
Australian suppliers play a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft. To date, the F-35 program has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.
Australia’s has committed to 72 F-35As, which will be flown by Australian pilots, and maintained by a joint team of Australian maintenance personnel and industry partners including Lockheed Martin Australia. Australia has received 10 aircraft to date, the remainder of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where they are part of the international cooperative F-35 training operations.
Vince Di Pietro, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, said: “Flown by Australian pilots, maintained by Australian maintenance personnel and containing many best-of-breed advanced components made right here in Australia, all Australians have every reason to be proud of this achievement.
“Australia plays a significant role in the program with a suite of local industrial technology and know-how behind the hundreds of F-35s flying today, as well as the thousands of F-35s that will be produced in the future.”
image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence
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