Third RAAF F-35A completes production

Squadron markings are applied to Australia’s third F-35A – AU-03 – at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, United States, on 2 November 2017; the final stage in the aircraft’s production process.
Squadron markings being applied to A35-003. (Defence)

Australia’s third F-35A Lightning II aircraft has rolled off the assembly line at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ production facility in Fort Worth.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne stated that 3 Squadron markings were applied to the aircraft (A35-003) in early November, representing the final stage in the production process before several weeks of ground and flight testing.

The aircraft is due to be delivered to Luke Air Force Base in early 2018 to be used for pilot and maintainer training, and is expected to be permanently relocated to Australia in 2020.

Minister Pyne stated that further opportunities for Australian industry to participate in the program through regional assignments for the repair of the second tranche of aircraft components are expected to be announced in 2018.

Squadron markings are applied to Australia’s third F-35A – AU-03 – at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, United States, on 2 November 2017; the final stage in the aircraft’s production process.