Building Australia's Next Generation Fighters
Every F-35 built will contain some Australian parts and components.
Australia’s first two F-35As, known as AU-1 and AU-2 were contractually delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 2014. In January 2015, the two aircraft were deployed to the U.S. Air Force’s Integrated Training Center at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona for pilot and maintainer training, and Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson, Australia’s first F-35A pilot, made history when he flew the first RAAF F-35 sortie in May 2015.
Every F-35 built will contain some Australian parts and components. The centre wing assembly contains machined longerons produced by Lovitt Technologies Australia. Sydney-based manufacturer Quickstep also supplies components to the F-35 Lighting II program. Lovitt and Quickstep are just two of the more than 17 Australian-based companies manufacturing parts and components for the worldwide fleet of F-35s, including Australia’s own F-35 aircraft.
All of Australia’s Lightning IIs will be the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant. The RAAF aircraft that are currently flying are part of what is known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 6, which also includes 31 F-35s for the U.S. and three F-35As for Italy.