The F-35A Lightning II will provide for Australia’s future air combat and strike needs.
In the future, a fourth operational squadron will be considered for RAAF Base Amberley, for a total of 100 F-35As.
The first F-35A 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 F-35A will provide Australia with a fifth generation aircraft at the forefront of air combat technology, to provide a networked force-miltiplier effect in terms of situational awareness and combat effectiveness.
Capable of supersonic flight whilst retaining stealth, the F-35A has extraordinary acceleration, agility and 9G manoeuvrability.
The F-35A is characterised by a low profile design; internal weapons and fuel carriage; advanced radar; electro-optical and infrared sensors with advanced voice and data link communications; and the ability to employ a wide range of air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons.
The F-35A is the most suitable aircraft to replace the aging F/A-18A/B Hornets.
Defence is currently undertaking an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the flying operations of the F-35A. A website has been created http://www.defence.gov.au/AirCraftNoise/Environment/F35EIS.asp where you can learn more about the EIS process, subscribe to receive updates, and provide feedback.
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