Everything you need to know about Australia’s F-35s

Nigel Pittaway, from a Key Publishing special magazine on the Lightning II, reviews the Australian F-35A programme and the three operational squadrons now flying the type.

By the end of 2022 the Royal Australian Air Force had accepted 60 of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters it has on order out of an initial total of 72.

The remaining 12 aircraft are due to be delivered throughout the course of 2023, at which point the RAAF plans to declare Final Operational Capability (FOC) for its fifth-generation fleet.

While initial service entry was delayed in line with the overall delays to the international programme – delays which necessitated the acquisition of a ‘bridging fighter capability’ in the shape of the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet – the RAAF’s F-35 programme is delivering to its amended schedule.


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