Australia is all set to host fifth-generation fighter aircraft F-35 at the Avalon Air Show to be held outside Melbourne. The controversial aircraft will be displayed under the US-led Joint Strike Fighter programme in February. It has been more than 10 years since the nation joined the JSF program.
An official responsible for the event planning said that the technology used to develop F-35 has made it important to keep the arrangements secret. He added that the crew members were searching for a proper hangar for the aircraft. It was in 2002 when the United States invited Australia to join the JSF program, The Howard government joined the multi-billion dollar program. Australian participation in the program, however, has been affected by controversies and cost blowouts.
As a result of the cost blowout, US President Donald Trump blasted the program in December. He said that it is better to save billions of dollars in military purchases. He added that F-35 was “out of control.” Following Trump’s comments on the JSF program, Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said that the program was the right alternative for both the US and Australia. “We’re very confident that the JSF is the right jet for Australia and for the United States and rest of the world,” Pyne told reporters in London.
Following Trump’s comments on the JSF program, Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said that the program was the right alternative for both the US and Australia. “We’re very confident that the JSF is the right jet for Australia and for the United States and rest of the world,” Pyne told reporters in London.
The Federal Government has planned to spend about $17 billion on 72 F-35 aircraft. Out of these air crafts, the first one would be delivered to Australia in 2018 thereby entering service in 2020.
Recent Involvement of F-35
F-35A has participated in the massive Red Flag wargames conducted by US Air Force at Nellis Air Force, Nevada. It marked the first time when a new single-engine stealth fighter has taken part in the exercise after being operational in summer 2016. “The significance of this Red Flag is that it will be the first time that we have U.S. Air Force F-35 [Lightning II] participation,” 414th Combat Training Squadron director of operations, Maj. Jeffrey Falanga, said as quoted by National Interest.
“The F-35 will be operating with the F-22 Raptor so there will be additional fifth generation capability and integration that will occur. It is also going to be one of the first times the F-35 operates with coalition assets.”