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June 5, 2018

RAAF’s first two F-35As on track to arrive in December

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) first F-35A joint strike fighters are on schedule to arrive in December.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) first F-35A joint strike fighters are on schedule to arrive in December.

To be permanently based at RAAF Base Williamtown, the aircraft are currently undergoing substantial work to ensure they can successfully operate in the country.

Australia’s first operational ALIS was installed at No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) at RAAF Base Williamtown in April.

The ALIS solution provides the essential off-board information system infrastructure, including hardware, software and data, to facilitate maintenance management, fault diagnostics, supply support, mission planning and training management across the weapon system of the aircraft.

“The ALIS hardware will progressively be installed at the new No 3 and 77 Squadron buildings at Williamtown and at RAAF Base Tindal for No 75 Squadron.”

Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Division project director and support systems group captain (GPCAPT) Guy Adams said: “ALIS is a key enabler and prerequisite for the Australian F-35A arrival and sustainment of the aircraft in-country.

“The ALIS hardware will progressively be installed at the new No 3 and 77 Squadron buildings at Williamtown and at RAAF Base Tindal for No 75 Squadron.”

The Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG) has authorised the connection of ALIS to the broader F-35 enterprise, allowing the country to share F-35 sustainment information with the global programme.

Adams added: “This is an important step in establishing Australia’s sustainment solution for the F-35A because it enables receipt of the latest technical information for our aircraft, while providing access to the globally distributed network of F-35 support capabilities.”

The implementation of ALIS has played a major role in demonstrating the functionality and effectiveness on the F-35A’s path to initial operating capability, which is expected to be attained by the end of 2020.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the F-35 programme. The company is expected to deliver the first F-35 deployable information facility and deployable duty facility to the Australian Defence in the middle of this year.

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