In 2009, the Australian Government announced its selection of the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A Lightning II to replace its classic Hornet fighter fleet, building on a more than 50-year partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Lockheed Martin. Some 100 5th Generation F-35As will transition the RAAF into a next generation net-centric fighter force that is capable of assuring the nation's territorial integrity and national security.
By operating the same aircraft as allies in the Asia-Pacific and around the world, the RAAF will take advantage of the F-35’s powerful sensors to share data to an unprecedented level of interoperability. The global fleet of F-35s will also give Australia advantages in economies of scale in the production and sustainment of more than 3,000 F-35s for decades to come.
Production of Australia’s first two F-35 centre wings is underway at Lockheed Martin’s United States facility. The component contains machined longerons produced by Lovitt Technologies Australia – the first of many Australian-made parts to be installed on Australia’s first 5th Generation fighter.