Australia’s first two locally-based F-35 fighter aircraft arrived at Royal Australian Air Force station Williamtown, marking a milestone for the programme.
“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.
“We congratulate the RAAF, the ADF and all of our Australian industry partners who have worked to make this achievement a reality.”
Australian suppliers play a significant role in the F-35 programme say Lockheed Martin, with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the programme. To date, the F-35 programme has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.
“Flown by Australian pilots, maintained by Australian maintenance personnel and containing many best-of-breed advanced components made right here in Australia, all Australians have every reason to be proud of this achievement,” Di Pietro said.
“Australia plays a significant role in the program with a suite of local industrial technology and know-how behind the hundreds of F-35s flying today, as well as the thousands of F-35s that will be produced in the future.”