RAAF takes delivery of 30th F-35A Lightning II aircraft

22 September 2020 (Last Updated September 22nd, 2020 15:19)

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of the 30th F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft.

RAAF takes delivery of 30th F-35A Lightning II aircraft
The 30th F-35A Lightning II accepted from prime contractor Lockheed Martin. Credit: Australian Department of Defence / © Commonwealth of Australia.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of the 30th F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft.

Prior to formal acceptance of the jet, the aircraft was put through pre-acceptance testing.

This included performing checks on the production line at contractor Lockheed Martin’s Texas facility along with flight tests to make sure the aircraft meets the RAAF’s requirements.

The aircraft was accepted by F-35A Air Vehicle Lead Squadron leader Brook Porter.

Porter said: “Working with local and international stakeholders, the team has also been integral to ferrying the majority of these aircraft to Australia from the US.

“It’s rewarding to be part of the team establishing Australia’s future air-combat capability. It’s much bigger than simply delivering an aircraft.

“It’s important to remain vigilant and stick to our ‘smart-customer’ approach. This means we are constantly asking questions to ensure we are getting value for money, as we strive to deliver Australia’s fifth-generation fighter jet capability.”

Earlier this month, Collins Aerospace’s Australian arm achieved a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,000th 360° situational awareness system for the global F‑35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.

In July, TAE Aerospace conducted routine maintenance of the RAAF’s first F‑35A engine fan module.

The maintenance of the jets highlighted the growing capability of defence companies in the country.

In June, the Australian Government provided funding to three companies to increase their involvement in the global Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 programme and continue to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition, the RAAF F-35A aircraft completed 1,000 flying hours over the skies of Arizona in the US.