Two More RAAF F-35As Arrive in Australia

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-35A Lightning II A35-011 taxiing into the hangar area at RAAF Base Williamtown yesterday after completing its delivery flight from the USA. It was one of two arriving at the base to bring the complement of the type there to four aircraft. Commonwealth of Australia/Cpl David Gibbs

A FURTHER two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have arrived in Australia.  The aircraft, A35-011 and A35-012, arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, yesterday, April 7, after completing various validation and verification activities in the United States.  They will be assigned to No 3 Squadron.

This brings the total number of aircraft in Australia to four, as they join the first two aircraft, which arrived at Williamtown on December 10, 2018.  All aircraft will conduct a phase of operations designed to verify and validate the jet’s capabilities during 2019-2020 in the lead-up to the declaration of the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2020.  Australia will take delivery of eight F-35A aircraft in 2019 and at least 72 aircraft over the life of the programme.

Australia’s F-35A fleet will comprise three operational squadrons.  Numbers 3, 77 and 2 Operational Conversion Unit squadrons will operate out of RAAF Base Williamtown and Number 75 Squadron out of RAAF Base Tindal near Katherine, Northern Territory.