Australia   Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
Commonwealth of Australia

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

First Australian F-35 Fighter Aircraft in Production

First Australian F-35 Fighter Aircraft in Production

Australia's first two F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft are progressing down the US production line and approaching the stage where they will be recognisably aircraft rather than a collection of components.

David Scott, Lockheed Martin's director of F-35 international customer engagement, said the two, designated AU-1 and AU-2, were on schedule for delivery in the US in 2014.

He said the wings were under construction at the Lockheed Martin plant in Forth Worth, Texas.

Forth Worth is also constructing the forward fuselage, while the centre and aft fuselages are under construction at separate Northrop Grumman and BAE plants.

"Those two airplanes will come together through the mate-and-delivery process and be delivered to the Commonwealth in the middle of next year," he said.

For JSF flight training to start, Australia will need qualified pilots and maintainers. JSF flight training is a six-month course, already under way for the first US pilots at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The first Australian JSF pilots will likely start training at Eglin later this year.

JSF is an advanced stealth combat aircraft set to be the principal combat aircraft for the US, Australia and other nations out to mid-century. Australia is looking to buy up to 100 at a cost of $16 billion.

But so far the government has committed to buying just two. JSF has been repeatedly criticised for running late, costing too much and unlikely to deliver all the promised advanced capability.

Mr Scott, in Australia for talks on JSF with defence and industry, acknowledged development had taken longer and cost more than forecast in 2001.

But since the program was "re-baselined" in 2010, it had remained on or ahead of schedule.

He said the US Air Force and US Marines were buying JSF, as were five of eight JSF program partner nations including Australia, along with two others Japan and Israel.

"Even in very difficult economic times that are challenging in most countries, the commitments are being made to F-35 because it is viewed as an essential capability, a breakthrough capability and one that is rapidly maturing and will be available very soon," he said.

Source: Max Blenkin, AAP Defence Correspondent / AAP News 3 April 2013

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


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

• 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 Sticks With JSF, Will Buy Growlers, New Subs

Australia announced plans to purchase 12 new-build Boeing EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft although it affirmed its commitment to the Joint Strike Fighter program...>>

• Attempt to close open door led to fatal R44 crash

The crash of a Robinson R44 that killed two well-known filmmakers last year and called attention to the fire risk posed by the R44s aluminum fuel tanks occurred when one of th...>>

• 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,