F-35A Lightning II
The F-35A Lightning II will provide for Australia's future air combat and strike needs.
Australia has committed to 72 F-35A aircraft for three operational squadrons at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, and a training squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown.
In the future, a fourth operational squadron will be considered for RAAF Base Amberley, for a total of 100 F-35A aircraft.
The first F-35A aircraft is scheduled to be accepted into Australian service 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, and enhance our situational awareness and combat effectiveness.
The F-35A is being purchased by the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group under project AIR 6000.
About the Aircraft
The F-35A is characterised by:
- a low profile design;
- internal weapons and fuel carriage;
- advanced radar;
- electro-optical and infrared sensors;
- advanced voice and data link communications; and
- the ability to employ a wide range of air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons.
It is the most suitable aircraft to replace the ageing F/A-18A/B Hornets.
Capable of supersonic flight whilst retaining stealth, the F-35A has extraordinary acceleration, agility and 9G manoeuvrability.
On 17 July 2015, the Department of the Environment and Energy published the approval decision for the flying operations of the F-35A, after considering the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
|Role||Fifth generation multi role fighter|
|Engines||Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100|
|Airframe||Length: 15.7 m, height: 4.4 m|
|Weight||13,290 kg (empty), 29,900 kg (max)|
|Max Speed||1,960 km/h (Mach 1.6)|