100 NOT OUT: An in-depth review of the Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) turned 100 on April 1, 2021. Today it is a world class air arm, capable of leading joint and coalition operations around the globe, as Nigel Pittaway reports.

As it looks towards the next 100 years, the RAAF continues its journey towards becoming a ‘Fifth-Generation Force’, a concept taking advantage of not only modern, networked platforms exemplified by the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, but also emerging technologies such as hypersonic weapons and autonomous systems.

RAAF F-35As, F/A-18A/Bs [Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Defence/Cpl David Gibbs]
Heralding the dawn of a new era, the first two RAAF F-35A Lightning IIs, A35-010 with A35-009 behind, both in 3 Squadron markings, arriving in the country on December 10, 2018. Escorting them in to RAAF Williamtown, New South Wales, are (front to rear) F/A-18B Hornet A21-109 from 2 Operational Conversion Unit, F/A-18As A21-38 from 75 Squadron and A21-39 from 77 Squadron, both still carrying their respective unit’s 75th anniversary markings applied the previous year. Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Defence/Cpl David Gibbs


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