The Liberal National Government – spending our money but happy to take all the kudos for their own party-political advancement – said in a press release issued today that ‘their’ (not Defence’s – or our) multi-billion-dollar Joint Strike Fighter program had reached a new milestone with seven F-35A Lightning II aircraft arriving at RAAF Base Williamtown.
CAPTION: Australia’s biggest delivery yet of F-35A Lightning IIs at RAAF Base Williamtown. Photo by Corporal Melina Young.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the F-35 program was on track to provide Australia with a fifth-generation aircraft that was at the forefront of air-combat technology.
“This brings the total number of F-35A’s that are operating at RAAF Base Williamtown to 13, with another five aircraft based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, USA,” Minister Reynolds said.
“This is the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world, which will deliver next-generation capability benefits and provide a major boost to air combat capability.”
She said the Australian government has also approved the next 24 aircraft – meaning all 72 Australian F-35A Lightning II aircraft are now locked in.
“Defence has also signed onto an international deal known as the Block Buy Contract, valued in total at USD$34 billion, which will deliver 45 of Australia’s F-35A Lightning II aircraft,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The deal is great news for Australia with the unit price now five-percent below the estimate at government approval in 2014.”
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