Aus­tralian Light­ning II pro­gramme

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation & Defence | News -

Mean­while, the US Marine Corps now also have a full com­ple­ment of F-35B fight­ers at Marine Corps Air Sta­tion Iwakuni, Ja­pan. The fi­nal Light­ning II from Marine Fighter At­tack Squadron (VMFA) 121 ‘Green Knights’ ar­rived at the base on 15 Novem­ber, ten months af­ter the squadron’s first air­craft touched down in Ja­pan.

As a his­tor­i­cal aside: the RIAF’s No. 4 Squadron with Spit­fire Mk.XIVs was de­ployed to Iwakuni in 1946 as part of the Com­mon­wealth Oc­cu­pa­tion Forces. func­tional tests in the United States as “re­quired to en­sure all fu­ture F-35As pro­duced in Ja­pan meet de­sign and per­for­mance specifications.”

Mean­while, the first Northrop Grum­man E-2D for the Ja­pan Air Self-De­fence Force (JASDF) flew on 13 Novem­ber 2017 at the com­pany’s Air­craft In­te­gra­tion Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in St Au­gus­tine Florida. Ja­pan se­lected the E-2D in 2014 to ful­fill its air­borne early warn­ing re­quire­ments, Northrop awarded a $151.3m in Novem­ber 2015, with con­tract com­ple­tion due in March 2018.

The third F-35A Light­ning II for the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force (RAAF) con­ducted its first flight on 1 De­cem­ber 2017 at Fort Worth, Texas. This will join the RAAF’s No. 3 Squadron. “The com­ple­tion of our third Joint Strike Fighter is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment for Aus­tralia’s F-35A project,” said Min­is­ter for De­fence In­dus­try, Christo­pher Pyne. “It is par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing that a key com­po­nent – the tail piece – was man­u­fac­tured in Aus­tralia, by the Aus­tralian com­pany, Marand En­gi­neer­ing.”

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