The F-35A provides Australia with a fifth generation aircraft capability to enable air superiority into the future.
Australia has committed to 72 F-35A aircraft – comprised of three operational squadrons - two at RAAF Base Williamtown and one at RAAF Base Tindal. In addition, a training squadron will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown.
The first F-35 aircraft will arrive in Australia in 2018 and the first squadron, Number 3 Squadron, will be operational in 2021. All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023.
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.
In the future, a fourth operational squadron will be considered for RAAF Base Amberley, for a total of about 100 F-35A's.
The F-35A (commonly known as the Joint Strike Fighter) is the most suitable aircraft for Australia’s future air combat and strike needs, to replace the aging F/A-18A/B Hornets.
Fifth generation aircraft provide a networked force-multiplier effect in terms of situational awareness and combat effectiveness. The F-35A’s combination of stealth, advanced sensors, networking and data fusion capabilities, when integrated with other defence systems, will enable the RAAF to maintain an air combat edge.
Defence is currently undertaking an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the flying operations of the F-35A. A website has been created www.f35evolution.com.au where you can learn more about the EIS process, subscribe to receive updates, and provide feedback.
The F-35A is being purchased by Defence Materiel Organisation under project AIR 6000
21 years after signing up for the program.
An aircraft that will get shot down vs. emerging threats.
At a huge cost.
-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems