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

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


About David Cenciotti 4450 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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