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.