Australia's first two locally-based F-35 fighter aircraft arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Williamtown, signaling the start of equipping the RAAF with a total of 72 of the F-35 stealth jets.
The F-35 will be utilizing its sensors and low observability to operate with impunity in contested airspace and fuse a picture of the battlespace for other air, land and sea assets, a Lockheed Martin release said.
"The arrival of the first F-35 aircraft to be permanently based in Australia is a historic occasion and we are proud of our role as the 5th Generation design pioneer and F-35 original equipment manufacturer," said Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Vince Di Pietro AM, CSC.
Australian suppliers play a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft.
Australia's has committed to 72 F-35As, which will be flown by Australian pilots, and maintained by a joint team of Australian maintenance personnel and industry partners including Lockheed Martin Australia. Australia has received 10 aircraft to date, the remainder of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where they are part of the international cooperative F-35 training operations.