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More Joint Strike Fighters for Australia

Terry Turner

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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.

Terry Turner is Senior Editor for Defence.com.au and Editor in Chief for the entire stable of CYBER PRESS magazines.CYBER PRESS is an Australian media business specialising in multi-channel broad audience online digital publishing. Our company is the evolution of Eco Magazines, Australia's premiere dedicated online publisher of full-format digital magazines. Put simply, we specialise, where many merely dabble.

Air Force

Australian F-35 Lightening Fighters clock up 1000th flight

Australia’s F-35 Lightning jet fighter fleet clocked up its 1000th flying sortie.

Terry Turner

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australian-f35
Photo: Alexander H Groves (Lockheed Martin)

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.

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Air Force

EA-18G Growler at Riverfire

A RAAF EA-18G Hornet, aka the Growler, at Riverfire, Brisbane, Queensland.

D+I Newsroom

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riverfire-hornet

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has a long association with Brisbane’s Sunsuper Riverfire.

The ADF was proud to take part in the 20th anniversary of Sunsuper Riverfire in 2017 with flying displays by the Air Force’s Roulettes, EA-18G Growlers, C-17A Globemaster and Army’s MRH90 helicopters.

The RAAF EA-18G Growler depicted here is conducting flying practice along the Brisbane River in preparation for Brisbane’s Sunsuper Riverfire, an annual family event run attracting enormous crowds along the Brisbane River.

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AIR

Australia’s Chief of Air Force Completes First Flight in the AIR 5428 PC-21

Terry Turner

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raaf-pc-21

EAST SALE, Australia, August 16, 2017 – In a recent ceremony that marked a significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) celebrated the Chief of Air Force first flight of the in-service PC-21 aircraft.

The occasion was celebrated at a media event hosted by Australian Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, in East Sale, Australia.  Also in attendance was The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, highlighting the significance of the program to the Australian Government.

Vince Di Pietro, chief executive for Lockheed Martin Australia attended the event along with AIR 5428 partners Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific.

“We are excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with the CAF and recognise this marks the beginning of training for Australia’s fifth-generation air capability,” said Vince Di Pietro. “This milestone is a great achievement to all involved and we celebrate the Australian Defence Force’s first flight in service and acceptance of the first six of 49 PC-21 aircraft, as the mainstay trainer for Australia’s pilot training program for decades to come.”

“Combining the PC-21 turboprop training aircraft with state-of-the-art training simulations and an electronic learning environment, Australia’s new Pilot Training System will prepare Australia’s next-generation pilots for mission success.”

The AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is an integrated solution tailored for all future pilots of the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army.

“Lockheed Martin Australia leads the delivery of integrated solutions for all future pilots of the Australian Defence Force,” said Amy Gowder, vice president of Training and Logistics Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems business.  “This milestone is an important achievement, and confirms the Lockheed Martin-led team is on track to deliver a world-class pilot training solution to the Australian Defence Force.”

Under the AIR 5428 contract, Lockheed Martin is providing overall project management for the pilot training system and delivering a family of integrated ground-based training technologies. Pilatus Aircraft is providing 49 PC-21 turboprop training aircraft and through-life engineering and airworthiness support, while Hawker Pacific is providing maintenance services and fleet support, and leveraging its established supply chain in Australia.                                          

Signed in December 2015, the initial seven-year AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is valued at AU$1.2 billion, with performance-based options to extend the value and length of the contract for up to 25 years.

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