fighter aircraft

fighter aircraft

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to transform Australia's air combat capability

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The Government has approved the acquisition of an additional 58 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The fifth generation F-35 is the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and will make a vital contribution to our national security. Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge. The F-35 will also provide a major boost to the ADF's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The first F-35 aircraft will arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 2020. Australia has been working with the United States as a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter programme since the Coalition joined in 2002. Acquiring F-35 aircraft will reinforce the ADF's ability to operate seamlessly with US forces and Australia's capacity to continue supporting our shared strategic interests under the US alliance. The acquisition of F-35 aircraft will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including in regional areas and for the local defence industry with more jobs and production for many locally-based skilled and technical manufacturers. The total capital cost of $12.4 billion for this acquisition includes the cost of associated facilities, weapons and training. Around $1.6 billion in new facilities and infrastructure will be constructed, including at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales and RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.