F-35A fighter jets for Australia

Key Facts about Australia’s Game Changing F-35A Fighters

Thanks to our friends at AAP, we’ve been given detailed information regarding our country’s newest addition — F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

Yesterday, the first two landed in Newcastle.

RAAF Chief Air Marshal Leo Davies is calling these beauties something greater than just a military upgrade. Rather, it is a military game changer.

The next generation fighter jet

As AAP reports, the Australia Air Force is putting the F-35A in top position for air combat technology.

It can take supersonic flight while retaining stealth, reaching speeds of up to 1975km/h. And it can fly at an altitude of 15.2km from ground level.

The Fighters also have electro-optical and infrared sensors built in. These allow the jets to communicate to other Defence Force Units quickly. Then, once the ADF map out an improved battlefield map, this technology keeps all units in contact with one another so they can easily play out the scheme.

Wing Commander Darren Clare, head of an F-35 squadron, gave a perfect tagline to reporters on Monday:

It’s a computer pretending to be an aeroplane.

Of course, these game-changing jets don’t come cheap. The first Newcastle-residing pair came in at $124 million each — a fair chunk out of the Aussie pocket.

Thankfully, the jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin says each batch will be cheaper from now on.

They plan for 72 jets in total, coming at an expected cost of $8.33 billion from the $17 billion project. 

Next year we are expecting eight more jets to arrive on our soil. A further 20 or so are to be added in 2020. The whole order of 72 is planned to be filled by 2023.

The US currently leads the Joint Strike fighter program, building and buying most of the jets. But many other nations are showing support with the program. Apart from Australia, the UK, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands are just some of the supporters. There are also some F-35s being sold to Israel, Japan and South Korea.

$1 billion in production contracts has been provided by over 50 Aussie companies who are involved in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

And it seems we were in need for a boost in our Defence Air Force.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne says the US-China conflict has no doubt made Australia rethink their reliance on other nations for support. An upgrade on our military capabilities would never be detrimental to the nation.

Air Force Chief Leo Davies continues his praise of the F-35As, saying the data from RAAF simulations ‘show us clearly we have bought the right aircraft’.

It’s hard to find anything that suggests otherwise.

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The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune is an unorthodox news service. Your Australian Tribune editorial team deliver the unfiltered stories that could impact your daily life — political and economic stories you’re unlikely to get anywhere else. And we’re not afraid to step on some toes to do it. We are honest, conservative and never dull. We are an independent service, meaning we don’t answer to shareholders or outside advertisers. This helps avoid conflicts of interest that inhibit mainstream sources, which keeps our voice independent. The Australian Tribune is owned and operated by Port Phillip Publishing.
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  1. Yes they are an exceptional beast with good range to boot which the F22 Raptor does not, Japan can have those. Thanks to the $1million helmet which links the pilot to the systems, and AI is already taking many of the mundane decisions off the pilot but I don’t believe that it can actually lock in any order, all back to the pilot. The camera systems are small and just out of this world giving the pilot 360 deg views including straight through the floor and the scary array and quantity of armaments they can max out at is phenomenal, with over the horizon capability. I’m so IMPRESSED THE government has actually done something right and not only ordered the right plane but 72 of them, yeaah, we have certainly grown from a few updated 100 times F111’s that were one of the best in class in their day but the only threat to these things is the new Russian 5th Generation fighter, but from what I read and understand both the F35A and F35B do have dogfight advantages over it.