THE RAAF’s first Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has entered the major assembly stage at the Lockheed-Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) Warren King made the announcement on October 11 and said major components of the first Australian aircraft were being joined together to form the aircraft’s structure. “Known as AU-1, Australia’s first F-35 will now make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for delivery to the RAAF in the summer of 2014,” Mr King said. Fourteen Australian companies are under contract and building parts for the F-35 as part of the global supply chain.
Mr King said Australian industry was expected to gain several billion dollars in industry opportunities over the life of the F-35 program, and praised the Australian industry with almost every F-35 built having some Australian parts and components.
The F-35 is a fifth generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment. Mr King said of the three variants being produced Australia was acquiring the Conventional Take-Off and Landing F-35A variant. “When integrated into a networked ADF, the F-35 will fulfil the functions of air dominance and strike capability currently provided by F/A-18 Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets,” he said.
AU-1 and the second Australian F-35 aircraft, AU-2, will be delivered during 2014 in the US for testing and training.
Source / Author: RAAF