Australia Receives Last Batch of F-35A

As the sun sets an F-35A Joint Strike Fighter conducts night operations at RAAF Base Richmond.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the last three new Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters scheduled for delivery in 2021, bringing the in-country total to 44.

The aircraft, which arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown near Sydney on 18 November, have been accepted by No 77 Squadron after completing a journey from Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in the United States as part of ‘Exercise Lightning Ferry 21-4′, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 23 November.

No 77 Squadron Wing Commander Tim Ireland said that, before the ferry flight, the new fighter aircraft took part in an operational test activity, known as Exercise Lightning Spear 21, at Eglin AFB from 1 to 5 November, which aimed to verify weapons integration. “The consecutive activities of Lightning Spear and Lightning Ferry demonstrate No 77 Squadron’s agility and maturity at operating with our latest F-35A capability,” he said.

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