RAAF’s F-35A completes 1,000 flying hours

8 June 2020 (Last Updated June 8th, 2020 12:09)

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F-35A aircraft has completed 1,000 flying hours over the skies of Arizona, US.

RAAF’s F-35A completes 1,000 flying hours
The RAAF’s F-35A aircraft  completed 1,000 flying hours over the skies of Arizona. Credit: Australian Government / Department of Defence.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F-35A aircraft has completed 1,000 flying hours over the skies of Arizona, US.

In 2014, the aircraft was manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Texas, US.

Currently, the aircraft A35-001 is operated by the international Pilot Training Centre (PTC) at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in the US.

It is used as part of a pool of training aircraft to qualify F-35A pilots and maintainers across the globe.

Australia’s F-35A pilot Flight Lieutenant Adrian Herenda was at the controls of A35-001 as the aircraft completed its 1,000 flying hours.

Until date, the RAAF has accepted 26 F-35A aircraft. Besides the five at the PTC, 17 are operating at No 3 Squadron and No 2 Operational Conversion Unit at RAAF Base Williamtown. The remaining four jets are scheduled to reach Australia from the US before August.

From next year, all F-35 training will be undertaken in Australia.

Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) director-general Air Commodore Damien Keddie said: “It demonstrates the maturity of our F-35A capability and showcases the importance of the international F-35 partnership.

“A35-001 is one of five Australian aircraft at Luke AFB, with other F-35 partner nations also contributing aircraft to the PTC in a show of global collaboration that has been the cornerstone of the F-35 Programme since the earliest days.”

In December last year, the RAAF accepted the delivery of an additional seven F-35A fighter aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown from the US.

Under the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter programme, the US provided the RAAF with a fifth-generation combat capability.