Australia has received its first operational Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.
The first two aircraft (AU-1 and AU-2) arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown in New South Wales on 10 December, the Department of Defence (DoD) announced. The two aircraft will be flown by 2 Operational Conversion Unit at RAAF Williamtown, before equipping 3 Squadron at the same location.
Australia has a requirement for 100 aircraft, of which the order of 72 has so far been announced. The F-35A will replace the RAAF's ageing Boeing F/A-18A/B 'legacy' Hornets and augment the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers.
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