Australia   Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
Commonwealth of Australia

Royal Australian Air Force  •  Army Aviation  •  Australian Navy Aviation  •  Paramilitary Aviation  •  Deployment  •  Foreign Air Forces  •   • 

Lockheed says JSF better and cheaper

Lockheed says JSF better and cheaper

DefenceE company Lockheed Martin has defended its controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), declaring it will be better than current combat aircraft, and cheaper

Test pilot Elliott Clemence, who flew classic and Super Hornets in missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, says the JSF is superior in critical areas such as stealth, aerodynamic performance and futuristic sensor technology.

So-called sensor fusion allows information from aircraft radar and other systems to be projected as an image on the inside of the pilot's helmet visor.

"The air performance in a combat configuration is just eye-watering," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Mr Clemence said flying aircraft using older systems was akin to trying to drive a car while texting, operating the radar and programming the GPS.

Australia is considering acquiring up to 100 JSF aircraft which will be the country's principal combat aircraft out to mid-century. But so far the government is firmly committed to just two, with a decision on the next tranche of 12 deferred for about two years.

The JSF is regularly criticised for being too expensive, running behind schedule and failing to deliver promised capability.

On the ABC Four Corners program this week, the JSF was criticised as overweight, underpowered and unable to fly near lightning storms.

But Lockheed Martin F-35 program vice-president Steve O'Bryan said this didn't mean JSF had a problem near lightning. It just hasn't been fully certified as lightning-safe yet.

Some 30 JSF were delivered last year and 36 will be delivered this year.

"We will continue to drop the price of the airplane out to approximately 2020 where the US government estimate is for an airplane, with the engine and all mission equipment, to be approximately $US67 million ($A66 million)," he said.

"That is better than any fourth generation fighter out there today in terms of cost."

Mr O'Bryan said while there were challenges, flight testing was ahead of schedule and the latest software block had been delivered on time.

"We are confident we will deliver the full capability because we have adequate schedule and funding to do that by the end of 2016," he said.

"By all indications from the US government and all the partner countries who are able to evaluate the F-35, it is meeting all the mission requirements."

Source: AAP News - 21 February 2013

Photo: The Royal Australian Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Aircraft (Photo by


Australia AF


American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News

• Australian Nuclear-powered submarines welcomed

Former Royal Navy (RN) nuclear submarine executive officer, Captain Henry Finnis (retd), sees the benefits of Australia acquiring the vessels as he reflects on his career as a subm...>>

• Royal Australian Maritime Air Power on Show

Maritime air power was on show in Guam as a RAAF P-8A Poseidon participated in Exercise Sea Dragon alongside Japan, Canada, India and the United States, from January 13 to 27....>>

• Australia to Purchase Second MQ-4C Triton Aircraft

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) welcomes the announcement last month by the Australian Government to purchase a second MQ-4C Triton aircraft. ...>>

• US Approves $1.3Bln Sale of Surveillance Aircraft to Australia

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said that the US Department of State approved the sale of Gulfstream G550 Aircraft with airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance ...>>

• Team 21 in bid for Australian pilot training contract

A consortium made up of Lockheed Martin Australia, Pilatus and Hawker Pacific submit bid to help train Australian Defense Force pilots....>>

• Australia plans to buy 12 EA-18G, 24 F/A-18E/F

Australia plans to buy 12 EA-18G Growler fighter aircraft from US to add to 24 Super Hornets....>>


 Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,