F-35 Lightning II
5th GENERATION CAPABILITY FOR THE RAAF
The F-35 Lightning II will deliver the most advanced capabilities for the next generation of the RAAF and provide the opportunity for high-technology work to companies across the nation.
In 2009, the Australian government announced its selection of the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A Lightning II to replace its classic Hornet fighter fleet, building on a more than 50-year partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Lockheed Martin
STRONG INDUSTRIAL PARTNERSHIPS
As a program partner, Australia has the opportunity to provide parts and components for every F-35 built, and suppliers across Australia are already realising the industrial benefits of the program. The program is bringing new high-tech machinery, increased exports and next-generation employment opportunities to companies across the country.
Some of the major suppliers include:
- Lovitt Technologies Australia, who produces machined longerons for the centre wing.
- Marand, who manufactures the vertical tails for the program, the first of which were installed in late 2014.
Lovitt and Marand are just two of the 15 Australia-based companies manufacturing parts and components for the worldwide fleet of F-35s, including Australia’s own F-35 aircraft.
BUILDING AUSTRALIA’S NEXT GENERATION FIGHTER FORCE
Some 100 5th Generation F-35As will transition the RAAF into a next-generation net-centric fighter force that is capable of assuring the nation's territorial integrity and national security. By operating the same aircraft as allies in the Asia-Pacific and around the world, the RAAF will take advantage of the F-35’s powerful sensors to share data to an unprecedented level of interoperability.
Australia’s first two F-35As, known as AU-1 and AU-2 were contractually delivered to the RAAF in 2014. In January 2015, the two aircraft were deployed to the U.S. Air Force’s Integrated Training Center at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona for pilot and maintainer training, and Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson, Australia’s first F-35A pilot, made history when he flew the first RAAF F-35 sortie in May 2015.