Next Eight RAAF F-35As on Track for 2018 Delivery
Australia’s next eight F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters are in production at prime contractor Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth final assembly plant ahead of delivery to the Commonwealth in 2018.
Australia is acquiring 72 F-35As to replace the RAAF’s F/A-18 ‘classic’ Hornets, the first two of which, known as AU-1 and AU-2, were handed over in late 2014 and have since been based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona as part of the F-35 International Pilot Training Center – a brief visit to Australia for the Avalon Airshow earlier this year aside.
AU-1 and -2 are scheduled to be joined at Luke AFB by aircraft AU-3 through AU-10 in 2018.
“Matter of fact, talking to our program people, there is a chance we might actually deliver the first of those airplanes late this year,” Steve Over, Lockheed Martin’s director of F-35 international business development, told media in Canberra on Monday.