Get a Glimpse of the first Australian F-35

A glimpse of AU-1, the first Australian F-35 model. (Beth Groom/Lockheed Martin)

Right now, it’s just a large piece of green. But eventually, what you see above will become the first Australian F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Lockheed Martin released the above photo this week as the platform begins the “mate” process, where various components of the air frame are matched up to form the structure of the plane. Delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force  is due in summer of 2014. 

From Lockheed’s press release:

The global supply chain for the F-35 currently has 14 Australian companies under contract and building parts for the F-35. Australian industry is expected to gain up to $6.3 billion USD in industry opportunities over the life of the F-35 program. Every F-35 built will have some Australian parts and components.

The occasion also marked a longstanding history between Lockheed Martin and Australia’s Defence Forces, beginning with the Lockheed Vega, F-111 and continuing with the F-35. Australia’s first two F-35s, now in production, will be delivered to the RAAF next year.

Australia is one of nine partner nations, including the US, that are part of the F-35 program.

Aaron Mehta

Aaron Mehta

Air Warfare Correspondent at Defense News
Aaron covers the Air Force for Defense News. In his spare time, he tweets about the Air Force for Defense News. Follow him @AaronMehta
Aaron Mehta