The Australian Government has approved Phase 1A of the Lead-In Fighter Capability Assurance Program (Project AIR 5438), which will offer capable enhanced training systems to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAN) pilots.

The project will allow pilots to develop skills to operate the current RAAF F/A-18 Classic and Super Hornet combat aircraft fleets and the future F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft.

The total cost of the AIR 5438 project under the Public Defence Capability Plan amounts is between $100m and $300m.

The government has also approved Phase 2A of the Battlespace Communications System (Land) project (Project JOINT 2072 Phase 2A) and Phases 2 and 3 of the Air Traffic Management and Control Systems project (Project AIR 5431 Phases 2 and 3), along with the current AIR 5438 Phase 1A Project.