F-35A Lightning II

F-35The Royal Australian Air Force requires a fifth generation capability to enable air superiority into the future. Fifth generation aircraft provide a networked force-multiplier effect in terms of situational awareness and combat effectiveness.

Australia has committed to 14 F-35A aircraft, initially planned for RAAF Base Williamtown. Up to a further 58 F-35A's (to total 72) will be considered as part of Phase 2A/2B to create a total of three operational squadrons - two at RAAF Base Williamtown and one at RAAF Base Tindal - and a training squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown. Phase 2C will consider a fourth operational squadron 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 current aging F/A-18A/B Hornets.

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


Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Role Fifth generation multi role fighter
Crew Pilot
Engines Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100
Airframe Length: 15.7 m, height: 4.4 m
Wingspan 10.7 m
Weight 13,290 kg (empty)
Range 2,200 km
Ceiling 50,000 feet
Max Speed 1,960 km/h (Mach 1.6)
  • Stealth
  • Advanced sensors
  • Networking and data fusion capabilities
  • AIM-120C Air-to-Air Missiles
  • GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) Guided Bombs
  • 25 mm GAU-22/A cannon