Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith have released the 2013 Defence White Paper. The document identifies the F-35 Initial Operational Capability date of 2020, and restates Australia's commitment to purchase the program of record, 100 F-35A aircraft.
Lockheed Martin is honored by the trust and confidence the Australian government showed in the F-35 program with today’s announcement. Along with the first two Australian jets in production, which will deliver in mid-2014, we will work closely with the government to support their purchase of their remaining 100 F-35 aircraft. Additionally, we will work with Australian industry supporting their participation in the production of components and sub-assemblies for the more than 3,000 F-35s to be built during the life of the program. The projected $5.5 billion of industrial participation will bring long term economic benefits to Australia for decades.
Read the white paper and watch a video of the announcement.