The Government has approved the acquisition of an additional 58 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
The fifth generation F-35 is the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and will make a vital contribution to our national security.
Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge. The F-35 will also provide a major boost to the ADF’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The first F-35 aircraft will arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 2020. Australia has been working with the United States as a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter program since the Coalition joined in 2002. Acquiring F-35 aircraft will reinforce the ADF’s ability to operate seamlessly with US forces and Australia’s capacity to continue supporting our shared strategic interests under the US alliance.
The acquisition of F-35 aircraft will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including in regional areas and for the local defence industry with more jobs and production for many locally-based skilled and technical manufacturers.
The total capital cost of $12.4 billion for this acquisition includes the cost of associated facilities, weapons and training. Around $1.6 billion in new facilities and infrastructure will be constructed, including at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales and RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.
Technical camp for young women, RAAF Base Williamtown
Fifteen people attended the Technical Camp for Young Women at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown between 27-30 August, 2018.
Participants experienced engineering and technical roles first hand, and the day-to-day routine of an Air Force base. Participants also met with Air Force members and Defence Force Recruiting specialists to discuss career opportunities
Technical Camp Officer in Charge, Flight Lieutenant Esther Suh, said Air Force was strongly committed to enhancing a more diverse and inclusive work environment and recognised that diversity was key to capability.
“To be the strongest possible organisation, Air Force needs to be able to recruit from the entire talent pool in the Australian community, both women and men,” Flight Lieutenant Suh said.
Two Newcastle students, Hannah Newham, 17, and Lucy Goodman, 16, were among the participants.
“I liked a lot of the more hands-on activities, such as the flight simulator,” Hannah said.
Lucy said Air Force was appealing because of the diverse range of opportunities it offered.
She enjoyed working in the classrooms solving technical problems.
Flight and technical camps for young women have been running since 2013 and have produced positive results with 80 per cent of participants actively pursuing Australian Defence Force careers through Defence Force Recruiting.
Due to the success of those camps, Air Force delivered the inaugural Aviation Camp for Women in July this year at RAAF Base Amberley, in Queensland.
Technical Camp Second Officer in Charge, Flight Sergeant Michelle Snape, said Air Force camps for women were incredibly rewarding for both participants and the personnel who delivered them.
“In addition to the education and training components of the camps, the camps provide a mentoring opportunity with participants engaging with inspiring Air Force personnel,” Flight Sergeant Snape said.
P-8A Poseidon aircraft fires Harpoon
Royal Australian Air Force load crew personnel from No. 11 Squadron position an ATM-84J Harpoon on to the P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, during RIMPAC 2018.
A Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon has fired its first Harpoon during Exercise RIMPAC 2018.
This is an important event for the P-8A Poseidon in reaching Final Operational Capability. Exercise Rim of the Pacific 18 (RIMPAC 18) is a biennial military training exercise to strengthen international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations.
Now in its 25th iteration, the Australian Defence Force deployed HMA Ships Adelaide, Success, Toowoomba, Melbourne and Rankin, an amphibious landing force from 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and one P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The multinational activity, held from 27 June to 2 August 2018 in Hawaii and off the coast of California, is the world’s largest maritime exercise and includes 25,000 personnel from 25 countries. Australian personnel will exercise across a broad spectrum of scenarios from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to maritime security operations, sea control and complex war fighting.
Participating personnel and assets will conduct gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air-defence exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations and an amphibious landing.
Above: Royal Australian Air Force load crew personnel from No. 11 Squadron position an ATM-84J Harpoon on to the P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, during RIMPAC 2018.
Australian F-35 Lightening Fighters clock up 1000th flight
Australia’s F-35 Lightning jet fighter fleet clocked up its 1000th flying sortie.
Australian personnel currently based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, in the United States, marked a significant milestone this week as Australia’s F-35 Lightning fleet clocked up its 1000th flying sortie.
Our F-35A team is working together with the 56th Fighter Wing US Air Force and Lockheed Martin to develop Australia’s initial F-35A capability. Royal Australian Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel are fully embedded and integrated in USAF squadrons as they prepare to lead Australia’s transition to a fifth-generation Air Force.