The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is reviewing the proposed joint strike fighter (JSF) use of the Salt Ash air weapons range in response to the draft public environment report.
Air Force deputy chief Air Vice Marshal Geoff Brown said that the analysis was aimed at reducing JSF noise impact on communities in the immediate vicinity of Salt Ash.
“This review will determine if the air force can decrease noise impact on residents by changing the way the JSF will use the weapons range,” he said.
Parts of Medowie and Oyster Cove will be classified as noise-affected under the ANEF 2025.
“Changing the way we use the range will have an impact on RAAF Base Williamtown’s fast jet training capability and this review will determine whether that is viable and sustainable,” Brown said.
Australia will acquire up to 100 Lockheed-built F-35 Lightning JSF aircraft, an advanced stealthy multirole combat aircraft.
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The first JSF to enter service in 2018 will be based at RAAF Williamtown and use the Salt Ash range for training.
The JSF, powered by a large and powerful single engine, will be noisier than the current aircraft, particularly in take-off, though not in level flight, according to the RAAF.