Australia’s firsttwo locally-based F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft arrived on home soil onDecember 9 at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Williamtown, signalling thedawn of a new era for the nation’s defence capabilities.
Lockheed Martin designed and built Australia’s fleet of F-35s and also serves as the global industry lead for F-35 sustainment.
The most advanced fighter jet ever built, the F-35 will be a catalyst for the transformation of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), utilising its sensors and low observability to operate with impunity in contested airspace and fuse a picture of the battlespace for other air, land and sea assets. Along with its advanced weapons capacity and superior range, the 5th Generation F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter in the world.
«The arrival of the first F-35 aircraft to be permanently based in Australia is a historic occasion and we are proud of our role as the 5th Generation design pioneer and F-35 original equipment manufacturer», said Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Vince Di Pietro AM, CSC.
«We congratulatethe RAAF, the ADF and all of our Australian industry partners who have workedto make this achievement a reality».
Australia PlaysMajor Role in the F-35 Program
Australian suppliers play a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft. To date, the F-35 program has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.
«Flown by Australian pilots, maintained by Australian maintenance personnel and containing many best-of-breed advanced components made right here in Australia, all Australians have every reason to be proud of this achievement», Di Pietro said. «Australia plays a significant role in the program with a suite of local industrial technology and know-how behind the hundreds of F-35s flying today, as well as the thousands of F-35s that will be produced in the future».
Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for F-35 global sustainment and is working in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and local industry to provide sustainment support and realise the full potential of the F-35 as an integrated force multiplier for decades to come.
Australia’s hascommitted to 72 F-35As, which will be flown by Australian pilots, andmaintained by a joint team of Australian maintenance personnel and industrypartners including Lockheed Martin Australia. Australia has received 10 aircraft to date, the remainder of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base inArizona where they are part of the international cooperative F-35 trainingoperations.
|Length||51.4 feet/15.7 m|
|Height||14.4 feet/4.38 m|
|Wingspan||35 feet/10.7 m|
|Wing area||460 feet2/42.7 m2|
|Horizontal tail span||22.5 feet/6.86 m|
|Weight empty||29,300 lbs/13,290 kg|
|Internal fuel capacity||18,250 lbs/8,278 kg|
|Weapons payload||18,000 lbs/8,160 kg|
|Maximum weight||70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg|
|Standard internal weapons load||Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles|
|Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs|
|Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings)||F135-PW-100|
|Maximum Power (with afterburner)||43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf|
|Military Power (without afterburner)||28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf|
|Engine Length||220 in/5.59 m|
|Engine Inlet Diameter||46 in/1.17 m|
|Engine Maximum Diameter||51 in/1.30 m|
|Overall Pressure Ratio||28|
|Speed (full internal weapons load)||Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)|
|Combat radius (internal fuel)||>590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km|
|Range (internal fuel)||>1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km|