Royal Australian Air Force shifts training facilities to Australia

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has shifted a substantial amount of training for the Lockheed Martin F-35A to Australia, while still retaining a training presence in the USA reports Department of Defence, Australia.

The focus of RAAF F-35 training has been moved to RAAF Williamtown, where work has been undertaken to develop a full training ecosystem under the country’s Air 6000 2A/B New Air Combat Capability Facilities Project.

“All facilities required to support training at RAAF Williamtown have been completed,” says Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD). ”This includes the installation of maintenance training devices, and the full suite of maintenance training is now undertaken in the new facilities.”  

Four full mission simulators have been installed and commissioned. The base has provision for two additional simulators.

Located on Australia’s eastern seaboard roughly between Sydney and Brisbane, RAAF Williamtown is the major hub of the country’s tactical airpower. It is home to No. 81 Wing, which comprises the three Boeing F/A-18 A/B ‘Classic’ Hornet squadrons that will be converted to the F-35A.

Williamtown commenced conversions of pilots from the Hornet to the F-35A in August 2019. The ability of No. 81 Wing to train experienced F/A-18 pilots and new pilots is part of the F-35’s Initial Operational Capability, which is planned for December 2020.

Read More   Rafael SKY SHIELD - Airborne Support Jammer
RAAF F-35As
Royal Australian Air Force F-35A at Williamtown training base

In addition the Williamtown training centre, five RAAF F-35As will remain at Luke AFB in Arizona.

“These aircraft will continue to undertake pilot training, including Australian pilots,” says the DoD. “Australia plans to undertake all pilot training in Australia from January 2021.”

Cirium fleets data shows that the Royal Australian Air Force has 18 in-service F-35As, with deliveries of the type continuing. Canberra is committed to 72 examples, which could rise to 100.

© 2020, GDC. © GDC and www.globaldefensecorp.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to www.globaldefensecorp.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.