Here’s the first (and second) Australian F-35 Lightning II aircraft

Jul 24 2014 - 19 Comments

A sneak preview of the first and second F-35 being delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force

The first of 72 F-35s for the Royal Australian Air Force rolled out at Lockheed Martin’s Ft. Worth facility on Jul. 24.

The RAAF is expected to base the Joint Strike Fighter at two bases: Williamtown, in New South Wales, and Tindal, in the Northern Territory, where 1.5 billion USD facilities and infrastructures to support the new fifth generation radar-evading plane will be built.

Ahead of the ceremony, Lockheed Martin unveiled to media the second F-35 (top image), AU-2, which already wears the standard overall grey color scheme along with the RAAF roundels and tail marking of the No 2 Operational Conversion Unit from RAAF Williamtown.

First F-35 RAAF

Above: the first F-35 AU-1

Image credit: Lockheed Martin


  • tim robinson


    Signed, Australia.

    • Roland Lawrence

      haha, remember when you used to have an air force? How bad do things have to get that the f111 looks like a good purchase? Like I can talk in the UK though. Fraudulently someone went to the Fleet Air Arm and told them not to put catapults on the aircraft carriers to let Boeing f18 hornets operate.

      You should have bought some su35bm aircraft seeing how big the place is and you guys need range more then anyone. The f35 is a tanker queen!

      • R Valencia
        Engine and outboard accessory-gearbox life:
        – to first overhaul, hours 500
        – service life limit, hours 1,500 <————– LOL low service life.

        Super Hornet's engine service life i.e. 6000 hours.
        GE seeks to make these enhancements available for future production F414 engines, as well as for retrofit into the existing Navy F414 fleet, beginning in the 2007/2008 timeframe.The EDE package includes a three-dimensional aerodynamics (3-D aero) high-pressure compressor and high-pressure turbine, as well as a lower-emission combustor. The new compressor will improve airflow and efficiency, while increasing time between overhauls from 4,000 to 6,000 hours. The 3-D aero turbine will provide more efficiency and high-temperature capability, while increasing time between overhauls from 2,000 to 6,000 hours

  • McPosterdoor

    It is there.

  • Matthew Johnston

    Do what you want with it mate. I wish you all the best of luck with it. DoD has been trying to get Hollywood to make Top Gun to and use the lemon cgi in it as they did in Die Hard 2.0. Israel will in the end be flying UAV’s just like the US. Built in Israel. It is not a big step from stealth design air to air from current designs and air to ground drones.

    • tim robinson

      Tell you what, you’re right Israel is SO amazing… Enough so the Chinese walked straight through the firewalls of you’re super duper defence firms and took what they needed… Israel has nothing that the US doesn’t and we see them all too often coming up short at a cost of so many innocents

  • Matthew Johnston

    Your the best mate we are all inferior and in your mighty shadow. We are all not worthy.

  • Matthew Johnston

    It was no surprise Top was a Malaysian try to destabilize Indonesia, not to BIN anyway.

    • Roland Lawrence

      Those Su30s were a prudent and awesome purchase. Aside the F15, not much in the allied weaponry have sweet FA range. For those fools who bought the f35, the Boeing silent eagle would have been a much greater buy. The Su27 family have around a 4000km range and with drop tanks a lot more.

      The Russians have average electronics but with some off the the shelf Israeli extras etc, you could make one hell of a platform.

  • Matthew Johnston

    It does not matter as I have been very good friends with those that matter in Indonesia for a long time. It I was to move it would be either to Fiji or Indonesia. I notice the first visit by SBY an Indonesian President. Indonesian election monitors ;-) I noticed the Israel offered to send some, when Russia wanted to send peacekeepers to Golans I got Fiji instead.

  • Roland Lawrence

    Indeed we understand that the majority of honest Americans are not employed by LM and even some of those might even be honest themselves. Kelly Johnson is probably tuning in his grave right now with all the CS and BS that is going on right now.

  • Roland Lawrence

    Hate to say this chap but the b2 is a bomber not a fighter jet. What with all the advances in LWB radar etc – anyone in a b2 expecting to have no cover or protection might as well be in operation *sitting duck*. Then again it all depends who you are fighting. If its the Russian state: simply you are screwed. If its in Libya where 30mm AA is mounted on the back of a Toyota pick-up, sure you got masses of advantage. Then again if its China, well the USA owes those guys around $4 trillion in debt. They dont invade more as they just own where you stand.

  • Roland Lawrence

    Yeh its a shame the Typhoon is so short range. As Pierre Sprey said though its only the brits that are upgrading the aircraft. Australia would be way better off getting some more F18 super hornets even though they have not a lot of range. The F15 silent eagle would be a cheaper and better choice too, if it was politically unable to buy some su27 family of jets. Its a shame but realistically the Australian Air Force is effectively over. What’s the combats radius of the F35 un-refuel?

    Over here we have massive *internal infighting* with the RAF trying to take over the Fleet Air Arm and all the BS that goes with that. Defending the country takes 2nd place here to the political infighting.

  • Roland Lawrence

    In *operation genocide* its superfluous.

    • tim robinson

      Your comments were almost adequate until you devolved to this irrelevant spurious example

  • Upgraded Flankers or the PAK FA has 0 chance against the F-35.

    With it’s helmet mounted targeting, the F-35 pilot only needs to turn his head and look at the Sukhoi to destroy it. He can see through his cockpit, 360 degrees up and down. In 2015, the F-22 will be upgraded with the same helmet targeting and DAS system.

    Seriously, this is a must see clip:

    The F-35 radar is the best in the world. It can even zapp a microwave pulse-beam to fry the enemy’s missiles or avionics. It can track 23 enemy aircraft in 9 seconds. Attack targets with it’s own missiles or use another F-35’s missiles using target sharing datalink:

    It can detect enemy missiles and aircraft at insanely vast distances (range is top secret):

    The AIM-9X thrust vectoring missile can turn 180 degrees and take out bandits in the back.
    The AIM-9X block III is the world’s best high off-boresight IR missile.

    As predicted in millions of computer simulations, Russian Sukhois would start blowing up before they can even detect the F-35.

  • Do not believe the critics.

    Most of the F-35 specs and technology are top secret. No one knows all the capability of the F-35 except those heads of participating nations. Those who has seen what the F-35 can do, like what they see.

    Twelve of the top air forces of the world is committed to purchasing the F-35. Over 3000 units are in order: U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, S Korea, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Norway and Turkey are all going to get the F-35.

    South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and UAE are also interested.

    Lockheed is investing 170 million in new manufacturing methods to reduce the cost of the F-35 to less than the Typhoon Eurofighter.

    Pratt and Whitney is also lowering the cost of it’s F-35 engine.

    • Roland Lawrence

      If its so great tell me why the minimum performance criteria has been lowered for the plane? As for costs – there are many accounting tricks at play here:

      1. Price the aircraft in *2005* dollars then inflate to todays rate.
      2. Price the aircraft as airframe only $100m then you will need those retrofit fixes because of concurrency and also you might want an engine – also extra.
      3. Make the F35c way more expensive so as to subsidise the F35A production line!
      4. Reduce its performance requirement. It was overweight by a lot so they trimmed off some of that protection around the engine – 50 cal bullet will easily penetrate the engine. Of course say its all classified so no need to admit to such failings.

      Put it another way. The Russians created the Yak 141 in the mid 1980s and then that became the Yak 43. Realising it was a money pit they gave up on the design and then sold their research data to the Americans. The roots of this plane are already nearly 40 years old. LM have made some great planes before, the legendary C130, C141, SR71, A12, Connie, Tristar to name by a few but this one you cant help but feel it was led by middle management consulting the engineers last if at all.

      • R Valencia


        A great deal of misinformation has appeared on the Internet regarding the relationship of the Soviet Yak-41 (later Yak-141), NATO reporting name Freestyle, to the X-35 and the rest of the JSF program. The Pratt & Whitney 3BSD nozzle design predates the Russian work. In fact the 3BSD was tested with a real engine almost twenty years before the first flight of the Yak.

        Yakovlev was looking for money to keep its VTOL program alive, not having received any orders for a production version of the Yak-141. Lockheed provided a small amount of funding in return for obtaining performance data and limited design data on the Yak-141. US government personnel were allowed to examine the aircraft. *However, the 3BSN design was already in place on the X-35 before these visits*.