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In December 2018 two new shapes appeared in the skies above Newcastle. The first two F-35A Lightning II airframes arrived with an escort from the F/A18s they will be replacing. Capable of supersonic flight while retaining stealth, this aircraft has extraordinary acceleration, agility and 9G manoeuvrability.
The F-35A Lightning II is the Australian Defence Force’s first fifth-generation air combat capability. It is a highly advanced multi-role, supersonic, stealth fighter which will meet Australia’s requirements to defeat current and emerging threats.
The F-35A is at the forefront of air combat technology. Its advanced sensors and data fusion will allow it to gather more information and share it with other Air Force aircraft, Navy ships and Army units quicker than ever before. This next-level communication greatly enhance the Australian Defence Force’s situational awareness and combat effectiveness.
Australia has committed to 72 F-35A Lightning II aircraft for three operational squadrons at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, and a training squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown.
To the immense excitement of everyone at No 3 Squadron RAAF Association the first F-35A squadron, No 3 Squadron RAAF, will be operational this year. The combat squadron older than the Royal Australian Air Force itself will be taking us forward at supersonic speeds.
We’re sure the founding 3SQN Assn. Webmaster Neil Smith would be chuffed. The bottom of the Association’s homepage features a quote from Smith: ‘With an understanding of the past, we can all contribute to the future.’
Now. Then. Always.
Click here to view the Official Air Force 2021 timepiece collection