Australia’s first 2 F-35 stealth fighters arrive home

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has welcomed its first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters to be permanently based in Australia at RAAF Base Williamtown.

“This is the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world. It will deliver next generation capability benefits and provide a major boost to our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities,” Australia Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said who witnessed the landing of two F-35As together with Minister for Defence Industry Steven Ciobo and other RAAF officials.

“The Joint Strike Fighter can get closer to threats undetected; find, engage and jam electronic signals from targets; and share information with other platforms,” he added.

Australia is acquiring at least 72 Joint Strike Fighters.

“Australian industry is manufacturing parts that will be fitted to every F-35 in production globally, and more than 50 Australian companies have directly shared in $1.2 billion in production contracts to date,” Minister Ciobo said. “Up to 1500 contractors have worked on the construction of the facilities to accommodate the F-35A at RAAF Base Williamtown, representing approximately $1 billion of investment in the Hunter region alone.”

The two F-35As will be operated by RAAF’s Number 3 Squadron will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown and at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.