Australia has received three new F-35 A Lightning II, Fifth Generation Aircraft The fleet size of F35 A will now reach 33. Royal Australian Air Force will purchase 72 advances fifth-generation fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin. The program is aimed at replacing the aging F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets that are in service with the RAAF since 1985.
The aircraft was refueled by two KC-30A Multi-Role Aerial Tanker aircraft from No. 33 Squadron and a C-17A Globemaster from No. 36 Squadron, en route from Arizona, the USA to Australia. The new aircraft will join the No. 81 Wing fleet, at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price, Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, and BAE Systems Australia CEO Gabby Costigan attended the event to mark the milestone.
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The selected F-35A variant will have a projected life of 30 years. It will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal. A new maintenance depot has also been established at RAAF Base Williamtown. The facility will perform maintenance and repair work on four F-35 aircraft this year.
A training contract worth $70 billion has been awarded to Lockheed Martin, Australia for the training of personnel. A team of 32 technicians has already been recruited to provide airframe maintenance to the newly inducted aircraft.