The first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters of the Royal Australian Air Force arrived at Williamtown air base in Newcastle.
According to a news release put out by the Royal Australian Air Force, F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jets A35-009 and A35-010 have arrived at their new home Base Williamtown.
They’re the first F-35As to be based on Australian soil and belong to Royal Australian Air Force’s No. 3 Squadron.
The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, were there to welcome the aircraft and RAAF fighter pilots who flew the final leg in the journey from Luke Air Force Base Arizona.
The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said the Joint Strike Fighter will be a game-changer for the Australian Defence Force.
“This is the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world. It will deliver next generation capability benefits and provide a major boost to our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities,” Minister Pyne said.
“The Joint Strike Fighter can get closer to threats undetected; find, engage and jam electronic signals from targets; and share information with other platforms.”
The Government is investing over $17 billion to acquire at least 72 Joint Strike Fighters.
“The Joint Strike Fighter is the largest acquisition in the history of the Royal Australian Air Force, and is a key part of the Government’s $200 billion build up in Defence capability,” Minister Pyne said.
The Lockheed-Martin-built Joint Strike Fighter will be operated by nine partner nations, reaffirming and strengthening Australia’s alliance with the United States and other key international partners including the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark and Norway.
“In Australia’s immediate region, Japan and South Korea are in the process of procuring the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, and are closely aligned with Australia’s pursuit of shared strategic, security and economic interests,” Minister Pyne said.