Australian F-35 fleet continues to grow, reaches 50 aircraft


2 more F-35A Lightning II combat aircraft arrived in Australia on May 2022. Photo c/o RAAF.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has confirmed that they continuously receive new deliveries of new F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from American defense company Lockheed Martin, with two more aircraft arriving at RAAF Base Williamtown last May 2022.

Out of 72 aircraft ordered by the Australian Department of Defence under its AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B Program, at least 50 aircraft have been delivered to the RAAF.

The RAAF’s No. 3 Squadron has been responsible in bringing in these aircraft from the United States mainland to Australia, crossing over the Pacific Ocean.

Aside from additional new assets and improved capabilities, the RAAF has also acknowledged the skill improvements and increased competency of its personnel 

At the same time, the RAAF’s F-35 fleet continue its integration with the US Armed Forces, including participation at Exercise Black Flag 22-1 that allowed RAAF and US Air Force to enhance their combined capabilities against a peer adversary, progressing in integrated tactical procedures against advanced air-to-air threats.

So far, the RAAF reports that its F-35 fleet have clocked in excess of 15,000 flight hours and reached initial operational capability, which can be considered as combat capable.

Australia is expected to receive further deliveries smoothly and reach the complete delivery and full operationalization of all 72 aircraft by 2023, with the potential for additional orders to increase the fleet to a total of 100 aircraft.

[1] Australian Department of Defence

[2] Australian Aviation

Australian F-35 fleet continues to grow, reaches 50 aircraft Australian F-35 fleet continues to grow, reaches 50 aircraft Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 24, 2022 Rating: 5

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