Australia’s third F-35A pilot Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Edwin Borrman, recently completed his qualifying flight in an F-35A aircraft at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, USA.
FLTLT Borrman said, “The last jet I flew in Australia was the Hawk 127 as an instructor and I must say it feels good to be back at the front edge of aircraft performance”.
“A little more power and capability definitely puts a grin on my face,” he said.
“The training went surprisingly quickly, although I did rely upon my previous experience in the F/A-18A and instructional experience in the Hawk 127 to help me through.
“Tactically the jet is amazing. There is so much situational awareness on display.
“The hardest part is determining what my priority is at any given time and where do I look to get that information.
“This course has given me great insight as to how our future F-35 pilots will transition directly from the Hawk to the F-35A.”
RAAF says the F-35A, commonly known as the Joint Strike Fighter, will meet Australia’s future air-combat and strike needs, providing a networked force-multiplier effect in terms of situational awareness and combat effectiveness.
“The F-35A’s combination of stealth, advanced sensors, networking and data fusion capabilities, when integrated with other Defence systems, will enable the RAAF to maintain an air combat edge,” the RAAF spokesman said.
The first two Australian F-35A aircraft have been flying at Luke Air Force Base for around a year and the first two F-35A aircraft will arrive in Australia at the end of 2018.
The first operational squadron will be established by 2020.
F-35A will replace the ageing F/A-18A/B Hornets based at RAAF Bases Williamtown, NSW, and Tindal, NT.
FLTLT Borrman completed his qualifying flight in a United States Air Force F-35A aircraft and is now qualified to instruct other pilots in flying the type.
He follows in the footsteps of the first two Australian F-35A pilots, Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson and Squadron Leader David Bell.