Australia is to take delivery of its first F-35 fighter jet on Thursday from Lockheed Martin. It plans to buy another 72.
Australia is building a $1.47 billion New Air Combat Capability Facility and has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defense Darren Chester announced on Australian Defense Forces Website.
Mr Chester said the facilities project will provide new and upgraded facility and infrastructure at William town and Tindal and supported the acquisition of 72 new F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
“The project will provide 3 Squadron, 2 Operational Conversion Unit and 77 Squadron at RAAF Base William town, and 75 Squadron at RAAF Base Tindal with the facilities they need to train, operate and maintain the F35-A aircraft.
“This project will offer strong economic benefits for local industry across the country, predominantly in the Newcastle and Katherine regions, with potential involvement for local sub-contractors to be part of the development,” he said.
Subject to Parliamentary approval of the project, construction is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed by 2022, the website said.
“The F-35A’s combination of stealth, advanced sensors, networking and data fusion capabilities, when integrated with other defense systems, will enable the RAAF to maintain an air combat edge,” the website states.