First two Aus­tralian F-35s roll out


Lock­heed Martin re­cently com­mem­o­rated the of­fi­cial roll out of the first two F-35 Light­ning II air­craft for the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force (RAAF). “We cel­e­brate a mile­stone in the US-Aus­tralia part­ner­ship, a part­ner­ship built on strength, friend­ship, and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion,” said Frank Ken­dall, US Un­der-Sec­re­tary of De­fense for Ac­qui­si­tion, Tech­nol­ogy and Lo­gis­tics. “

Join­ing Ken­dall at the cer­e­mony, among var­i­ous distin­guished guests in at­ten­dance, were Air Mar­shal Ge­off Brown, Chief of RAAF; and Mar­il­lyn Hew­son, Lock­heed Martin chair­man, pres­i­dent and CEO.

The F-35 Light­ning II air­craft will pro­vide the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force with a trans­for­ma­tional 5th gen­er­a­tion fighter ca­pa­bil­ity and pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the Aus­tralian aero­space in­dus­try, with more than $412 mil­lion al­ready con­tracted and up to $6 bil­lion in ex­pected man­u­fac­tur­ing or­ders over the life of the pro­gramme.

The air­craft, known as AU-1 and AU-2, are sched­uled to un­dergo func­tional fuel sys­tem checks be­fore be­ing trans­ported to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the com­ing months. The jets are sched­uled to be de­liv­ered to the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force later this year, and will be based at Luke Air Force Base, Ari­zona, where they will be used for Aus­tralian and part­ner coun­try pilot train­ing.

The F-35 Light­ning II is the world’s most ad­vanced mil­i­tary air­craft and for over a decade, the U.S. and our al­lies have in­vested in de­vel­op­ing this fifth-gen­er­a­tion, in­ter­na­tional, mul­ti­role fighter air­craft that will serve as a cor­ner­stone of global se­cu­rity in the 21st cen­tury.

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