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RAAF F-35 previewed ahead of AU-1 rollout

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 24, 2014
AU-2
AU-2 at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility.

Lockheed Martin has previewed the second F-35A for the RAAF a day ahead of a formal rollout of Australia’s first aircraft in a ceremony, which took place at the company’s Fort Worth facility on Thursday.

The second jet, AU-2, was previewed to media on Wednesday ahead of the formal rollout of aircraft AU-1, and wears the standard F-35 grey paint scheme with ‘low vis’ RAAF roundels, serial number A35-002 and tail markings for the RAAF’s 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU).

AU-1, meanwhile, was formally unveiled on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown, F-35 program executive officer LtGen Chris Bogdan, US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall and Lockheed Martin’s president and CEO Marillyn Hewson.

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Rear three-quarter view of AU-2
Rear three-quarter view of AU-2

AU-2's tail
AU-2’s tail

 

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

32 Comments

  • The Road Runner

    says:

    Nice photos !
    Love the JSF wearing 2OCU tail marking 🙂

  • adammudhen

    says:

    I never thought the F-35 was a good looking aircraft, but I have to say, seeing it with the kangaroo roundel and “A35” on the side, it looks pretty bloody good. Can’t wait to see it in the air.

  • Adrian

    says:

    Shame it is such a defective, poorly performing aircraft. Is the Collins submarine of the skies. Overpriced and easily defeated be the Russian and Chinese fighters. No wonder the federal government is cutting services all over the place. Waste of our money!

  • Anthony

    says:

    Nice looking aircraft. Wonder how much foaming Carlo Kopp and the rest of APA has in his mouth.

  • Tom

    says:

    adammudhen I totally agree, I have always felt that the 35 looks like a 44 Gallon Drum with a few bits glued on but it does look pretty slick from these angles especially with the RAAF livery.

  • Trev

    says:

    Adrian, what security clearance do you have and what level of insight and information do you have on the true capability of this aircraft? My guess is absolutely none by the comments you have just posted.

  • Garry

    says:

    Adrian, Now lets see, how many hours do you have on a.) Project AIR6000, b.) Time on type, c.) your Aviation or Aerospace CV, or d.) Air Power Strategic Plans. Might I suggest that we wait until the aircraft is accepted into RAAF Service and achieves full Operational Capability status before making such broad, general, subjective and political statements.

  • OMEGATALON

    says:

    The F-35A Lightning II is a necessity because of modern radars which can detect older GEN 4 fighters like the Gripen or F-18 Hornet; but Australia should consider buying a couple of America-class amphibious assault ships which the United States plan to use to launch F-35B STOVL variants of the Lightning II which will allow Australia to protect their coastlines more effectively and reason why Japan has built their new Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer which can also be equipped with the F-35B.

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Nothing like a JSF story to stir up the comments tabs on AA.

  • Goresh

    says:

    Just wondering how they will get them home to Australia since current rules require an engine inspection every 3 hours of flight time?

  • Mark Bayliss

    says:

    If the reports are correct then were in trouble. So far this aircraft is still in development. But the early signs are not good. Plane is way over due over priced and comming up short on its performance. I’m no expert and do not claim to be just an avid military enthusiast but what I do know is no matter if this plane does start to perform the cost per plane is outrageous. Some of the countries who joined this program are either reviewing there choice or ordering less planes because of the huge costs and below par performance. Reports are also suggesting many hours of maintenance per flight hour which was opposite to one of the requirements. This plane has had a lengthy gestation period and it needs to be sorted ASAP as costs are escalating even higher. It does not mater whether your a airforce pilot or knowledge in air power strategic plans at the end of the day we need a fighter that will do the job and at this current stage it does not seem promising. Another note we the tax payers want our money’s worth.

  • Bob

    says:

    We’ll remember the same negative info going around about The F111 and what a superb aircraft that turned out to be… and in the final analysis, great value for money. Will keep an open mind on this one.

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    @all responding to Adrian
    Don’t fuel this guy…ignore him as I’m suspecting he’s someone that gets kicks stirring and interrupting good “knowledgable” discussion.
    The aircraft looks fantastic.
    In the 60’s they said the same about the F-111 or Ardvark as it was known then…followed by the “pig” as it was given unwarrantly.
    Now for some F35B’s 😉

  • Mac

    says:

    A Dud!

  • Bene Cochran

    says:

    How soon people forget when the F 111 was first being bought it was the biggest waste of money, had heaps of teething problems would not last very long and no good. Look how she turned out one of its not the best aircraft we have ever had . I think some people should sit down take a tablet and wait and see when we get ours and the good old Aussie know how gets its finger in the pie then I will pass comment until then bring them on go F 35 🙂

  • julian

    says:

    The North American P-51 Mustang had issues too… Until the D variant made it the best single prop fighter the world had ever seen….

  • Smokey

    says:

    remember all those bad things that people like Adrian said about the F111 when the RAAF decided to buy them. Dammed PIGS only lasted about 40 years,waste of our money!!!!

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    It’s only a “waste of money” thankfully when never need to use any of our defence force hardware.
    That I’m happy to say, I can live with.
    Will be interesting to see if the pesimists on here will have any backbone to admit they are wrong one day in the future when the Lightning II proves herself.
    My money is on they don’t.
    Mac, Mark and Adrian are armchair stats experts and also seem to be quoting issues that were brought up during regression tests years ago. The only issue lately and publisized is about the mission software.
    Latest engine fire is one off and could happen anywhere…Qantas A380 out of Singapore a few years back ring a bell?!
    Performance? Well if it means our RAAF will take a little longer to get to the battle to defeat the enemy then great! Doing some good for the environment and fuel bill to tax payers!
    Someone point me to a aircraft or any development in any industry that never had major issues to resolve, on budget or on schedule.
    Look at India’s T50 issues now and I hear China’s stealth is all “smoke and mirrors” too.
    So you’re entitled to your opinion, but only do so if you have the courage to stand by your words if proven wrong.
    I know I will. Happily!

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    @omegatalon
    Well there are two already built ships in France that could be redirected to the RAN instead of Russia!
    God forbid they get handed over to our old now new again adversaries!
    Very capable (with the strengthened and heat resistant decking) ships that will bring even greater versatility for the RAN if F35Bs are purchased.
    Crewing not an issue as ships staged into service slowly and new crews along with rotations of RAAF aircrew and maintainers etc…
    Like we did with HMAS Melbourne.
    Come on Johnson, go make an offer the French can’t resist and the Russians will get annoyed about ha ha ha

  • Tim Cheney

    says:

    At least you guys have a real jet to look at.

    All we got this month at Fairford and Farnborough was a mock up.

  • Someone

    says:

    Give it time guys. Australia doesn’t plan to introduce it into service until 2020 so plenty of time for the current development related issues to be worked through. Given the capabilities that will be fielded in the next decade, there’s no other EXPORTABLE fighter jet in the world that I’d want to see Aussie fighter pilots being sent to fight in. A mixed fleet of classic hornets and supers, transitioning to a mixed fleet of JSF and Growler is actually a pretty good place to be for Australia. The alternatives:
    a. Buy something that’s coming to the end of its development/production life (pretty much every other exportable western fighter);
    b. Buy something Russian (a ridiculous option that I have trouble even adding)
    c. Embrace indecision (Canada)
    d. Go the way of New Zealand and live in hope that someone else will do our fighting for us
    Some good discussions above but don’t believe everything you read in the media. Have some faith that the people in our Defence Force actually know how to do their jobs and if they say this is the right choice for us (given they know more about the capabilities of the aircraft that the public), then who are we to question their professionalism?

  • Garry

    says:

    To those who say it is too expensive:- Perhaps you need to look at Augustine’s laws, which were a series of tongue in cheek aphorisms put forth by Norman Ralph Augustine, an American aerospace businessman who served as Under Secretary of the Army from 1975 to 1977 and in 1984 he published his laws. The book and several of the laws were the topic of an article in Sound and Vibration magazine in March 2012. His most cited law is number 16, which shows that defense budgets grow linearly but the unit cost of a new military aircraft grows exponentially, therefore, by the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one tactical aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3½ days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day. As I said before: Wait for full RAAF Operational Capability…..

  • Abledog

    says:

    It is not an attractive aeroplane…dont know what it will be like , but its still ugly…as are most modern machines with so called stealth capability..

  • rpaps5

    says:

    lots of uninformed comment as usual! The F35 is NOT the first Gen fighter the US has produced (ever heard of F22). This project has been mishandled from the beginning – The first military project head “Blowhard” Marine Corps Major General who seems to have allowed the early few years of the development to proceed without ANY milestones/goals/benchmarks to meet before proceeding to the next step set the recipe for disaster which the subsequent project heads have been desperately trying to recover from ever since.
    The performance goals have been set to a lower standard on at least 1 occasion as all models of the aircraft proved incapable of meeting the original performance requirements!
    Low observable characteristics are ok as a desirable trait of an aircraft, BUT it is only a benefit until they get close enough to be seen by the Mk.1 eyeball, then the actual aircraft maneuverability/speed etc performance & pilot training/quality is what will win the day.
    Already there are radars being developed which operate on frequencies which defeat the “stealth” characteristics.
    The F35 is NOT a “be all/end all” solution for any country, I, for one am glad of the F/A 18 Super/ EA 18G Growler mix in Australia’s fleet.

  • Alan

    says:

    I notice public comment invited on F35 flight operations in newspapers recently. Now wait for the greenies to have a say in how often they fly, when and where….
    Expensive – Yes
    Ugly – who cares as long as they do the job. Anyone think the F111 was a beautiful looking aircraft ?
    Worth it – Time will tell…..
    Lets hope we dont need to use them in anger…. just to upset the ducks at the end of the runway !

  • Raymond

    says:

    To those advocating America-class and Mistral-class ships for the RAN, do you not know that there are already two Canberra-class LHD’s being acquired, with the first to be commissioned in the next few months and the second undergoing fit-out in Melbourne? And that the Minister for Defence has said publicly that the ADF is considering acquiring the F-35B to operate from the LHD’s in the final batch of up to 28 F-35’s? It’s already happening!

    As for commenting on the anti-F-35 remarks, I’m getting quite sick of ignorance and ill-informed commentary and really can’t be bothered. Not to mention it seems quite likely there’s some trolling involved. Read some previous F-35 threads on AA if you’re interested.

  • William

    says:

    The current LHD fleet is configured for rotary wing operations only. It can’t carry enough fuel or munitions to support fixed wing operations and would require serious amounts of work to get them to be able to have the F-35B on board. Maybe a purchase of one or two more LHDs or similar vessels would better than reconfiguring the current LHDs.

  • Garry

    says:

    If you consider the shape and lines of this aircraft to be ugly look at the F-35 in relation to the other (Boeing) aircraft in the ‘fly-off’ competition – the F-35 is streets ahead of that flaming ugly (fugly) aircraft! We know that it probably lost the competition right there because aircrew won’t fly fugly aircraft.

  • marcel

    says:

    Beautiful thing. I was also once under the opinion that these aircraft were duds and that yes, as Adrian said; I thought the same, the Russians would out fly it. However, once I really just looked at the aircraft in front of me. I realized that there is more to this thing than what we have been told about it in regards to its performance capabilities. All we’ve been told so far is that it is fast,stealth and has excellent strike capabilities. One thing I realized is that the f35 carries a similar wingshape and airframe profile of the yf22 (being the most maneuverable fighters ever built), however it is a few meters shorter and is carbon, so weighs less. Stronger composite +Less inertia+less longitudinal stability= fast turns and direction changes. I have a feeling this girl will be a skydancer.

  • Gordy

    says:

    Its a Weapon System, not just a jet fighter, that will forever enhance and share the battle field picture, both Air/Land and Sea. The days of turning and burning are secondary these days, as scarfs were with the introduction of pressurised cockpits and ejection seats,…radar computing sights replacing bead sights. Sensor fusing,…..knowing where the enemy is, and then slamming the whole enemy formation with BVR missiles, then ducking away to fight another day, before they know where you are. The Growler will help even more to confuse them.

  • Lewie

    says:

    Interesting choice of numbering. ‘002’ instead of ‘2’ as used in the past.

  • Cam

    says:

    It looks good but unfortunately we are not buying it to sit on the tarmac and simply look good. It is supposedly a multirole aircraft. But if presented with a situation where an enemy aircraft just happens to appear its done. Now very few capabilities of the aircraft granted. But what is public knowledge if you have any expertise in the area you would find it extremely difficult to not rate the aircraft as poor. The reality is the basis of its existence and what is being relied on is that it can shoot down an enemy aircraft before the enemy seen it/knew it was there. The reality however is far different. In a age where stealth is becoming less and less rare. Where Russia and China are developing stealth aircraft etc then the jsf will have to beat them on a dog fight. Because it can not shoot from BVR if it can not see it on radar. So if a time comes where that does occur all of the weaknesses will be exposed in a big way. There are many that will say and do say that day will not come. That has been said before and like before it will eventually be realised that isnt the case. These things are still pivitol. You cant shoot an aircraft down from BVR that you can not see on radar. When this aircrafts in its prime stealth is going to be far more prominent and that takes that ability out of the game. Also will it live up to being as good as what they are saying. Remember lockheed martin are trying to sell it. No matter what flaws there are you will never hear about them because it doesnt sell.

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RAAF F-35 previewed ahead of AU-1 rollout

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 24, 2014
AU-2
AU-2 at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility.

Lockheed Martin has previewed the second F-35A for the RAAF a day ahead of a formal rollout of Australia’s first aircraft in a ceremony, which took place at the company’s Fort Worth facility on Thursday.

The second jet, AU-2, was previewed to media on Wednesday ahead of the formal rollout of aircraft AU-1, and wears the standard F-35 grey paint scheme with ‘low vis’ RAAF roundels, serial number A35-002 and tail markings for the RAAF’s 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU).

AU-1, meanwhile, was formally unveiled on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown, F-35 program executive officer LtGen Chris Bogdan, US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall and Lockheed Martin’s president and CEO Marillyn Hewson.

Advertisement
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Rear three-quarter view of AU-2
Rear three-quarter view of AU-2

AU-2's tail
AU-2’s tail

 

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

32 Comments

  • The Road Runner

    says:

    Nice photos !
    Love the JSF wearing 2OCU tail marking 🙂

  • adammudhen

    says:

    I never thought the F-35 was a good looking aircraft, but I have to say, seeing it with the kangaroo roundel and “A35” on the side, it looks pretty bloody good. Can’t wait to see it in the air.

  • Adrian

    says:

    Shame it is such a defective, poorly performing aircraft. Is the Collins submarine of the skies. Overpriced and easily defeated be the Russian and Chinese fighters. No wonder the federal government is cutting services all over the place. Waste of our money!

  • Anthony

    says:

    Nice looking aircraft. Wonder how much foaming Carlo Kopp and the rest of APA has in his mouth.

  • Tom

    says:

    adammudhen I totally agree, I have always felt that the 35 looks like a 44 Gallon Drum with a few bits glued on but it does look pretty slick from these angles especially with the RAAF livery.

  • Trev

    says:

    Adrian, what security clearance do you have and what level of insight and information do you have on the true capability of this aircraft? My guess is absolutely none by the comments you have just posted.

  • Garry

    says:

    Adrian, Now lets see, how many hours do you have on a.) Project AIR6000, b.) Time on type, c.) your Aviation or Aerospace CV, or d.) Air Power Strategic Plans. Might I suggest that we wait until the aircraft is accepted into RAAF Service and achieves full Operational Capability status before making such broad, general, subjective and political statements.

  • OMEGATALON

    says:

    The F-35A Lightning II is a necessity because of modern radars which can detect older GEN 4 fighters like the Gripen or F-18 Hornet; but Australia should consider buying a couple of America-class amphibious assault ships which the United States plan to use to launch F-35B STOVL variants of the Lightning II which will allow Australia to protect their coastlines more effectively and reason why Japan has built their new Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer which can also be equipped with the F-35B.

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Nothing like a JSF story to stir up the comments tabs on AA.

  • Goresh

    says:

    Just wondering how they will get them home to Australia since current rules require an engine inspection every 3 hours of flight time?

  • Mark Bayliss

    says:

    If the reports are correct then were in trouble. So far this aircraft is still in development. But the early signs are not good. Plane is way over due over priced and comming up short on its performance. I’m no expert and do not claim to be just an avid military enthusiast but what I do know is no matter if this plane does start to perform the cost per plane is outrageous. Some of the countries who joined this program are either reviewing there choice or ordering less planes because of the huge costs and below par performance. Reports are also suggesting many hours of maintenance per flight hour which was opposite to one of the requirements. This plane has had a lengthy gestation period and it needs to be sorted ASAP as costs are escalating even higher. It does not mater whether your a airforce pilot or knowledge in air power strategic plans at the end of the day we need a fighter that will do the job and at this current stage it does not seem promising. Another note we the tax payers want our money’s worth.

  • Bob

    says:

    We’ll remember the same negative info going around about The F111 and what a superb aircraft that turned out to be… and in the final analysis, great value for money. Will keep an open mind on this one.

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    @all responding to Adrian
    Don’t fuel this guy…ignore him as I’m suspecting he’s someone that gets kicks stirring and interrupting good “knowledgable” discussion.
    The aircraft looks fantastic.
    In the 60’s they said the same about the F-111 or Ardvark as it was known then…followed by the “pig” as it was given unwarrantly.
    Now for some F35B’s 😉

  • Mac

    says:

    A Dud!

  • Bene Cochran

    says:

    How soon people forget when the F 111 was first being bought it was the biggest waste of money, had heaps of teething problems would not last very long and no good. Look how she turned out one of its not the best aircraft we have ever had . I think some people should sit down take a tablet and wait and see when we get ours and the good old Aussie know how gets its finger in the pie then I will pass comment until then bring them on go F 35 🙂

  • julian

    says:

    The North American P-51 Mustang had issues too… Until the D variant made it the best single prop fighter the world had ever seen….

  • Smokey

    says:

    remember all those bad things that people like Adrian said about the F111 when the RAAF decided to buy them. Dammed PIGS only lasted about 40 years,waste of our money!!!!

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    It’s only a “waste of money” thankfully when never need to use any of our defence force hardware.
    That I’m happy to say, I can live with.
    Will be interesting to see if the pesimists on here will have any backbone to admit they are wrong one day in the future when the Lightning II proves herself.
    My money is on they don’t.
    Mac, Mark and Adrian are armchair stats experts and also seem to be quoting issues that were brought up during regression tests years ago. The only issue lately and publisized is about the mission software.
    Latest engine fire is one off and could happen anywhere…Qantas A380 out of Singapore a few years back ring a bell?!
    Performance? Well if it means our RAAF will take a little longer to get to the battle to defeat the enemy then great! Doing some good for the environment and fuel bill to tax payers!
    Someone point me to a aircraft or any development in any industry that never had major issues to resolve, on budget or on schedule.
    Look at India’s T50 issues now and I hear China’s stealth is all “smoke and mirrors” too.
    So you’re entitled to your opinion, but only do so if you have the courage to stand by your words if proven wrong.
    I know I will. Happily!

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    @omegatalon
    Well there are two already built ships in France that could be redirected to the RAN instead of Russia!
    God forbid they get handed over to our old now new again adversaries!
    Very capable (with the strengthened and heat resistant decking) ships that will bring even greater versatility for the RAN if F35Bs are purchased.
    Crewing not an issue as ships staged into service slowly and new crews along with rotations of RAAF aircrew and maintainers etc…
    Like we did with HMAS Melbourne.
    Come on Johnson, go make an offer the French can’t resist and the Russians will get annoyed about ha ha ha

  • Tim Cheney

    says:

    At least you guys have a real jet to look at.

    All we got this month at Fairford and Farnborough was a mock up.

  • Someone

    says:

    Give it time guys. Australia doesn’t plan to introduce it into service until 2020 so plenty of time for the current development related issues to be worked through. Given the capabilities that will be fielded in the next decade, there’s no other EXPORTABLE fighter jet in the world that I’d want to see Aussie fighter pilots being sent to fight in. A mixed fleet of classic hornets and supers, transitioning to a mixed fleet of JSF and Growler is actually a pretty good place to be for Australia. The alternatives:
    a. Buy something that’s coming to the end of its development/production life (pretty much every other exportable western fighter);
    b. Buy something Russian (a ridiculous option that I have trouble even adding)
    c. Embrace indecision (Canada)
    d. Go the way of New Zealand and live in hope that someone else will do our fighting for us
    Some good discussions above but don’t believe everything you read in the media. Have some faith that the people in our Defence Force actually know how to do their jobs and if they say this is the right choice for us (given they know more about the capabilities of the aircraft that the public), then who are we to question their professionalism?

  • Garry

    says:

    To those who say it is too expensive:- Perhaps you need to look at Augustine’s laws, which were a series of tongue in cheek aphorisms put forth by Norman Ralph Augustine, an American aerospace businessman who served as Under Secretary of the Army from 1975 to 1977 and in 1984 he published his laws. The book and several of the laws were the topic of an article in Sound and Vibration magazine in March 2012. His most cited law is number 16, which shows that defense budgets grow linearly but the unit cost of a new military aircraft grows exponentially, therefore, by the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one tactical aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3½ days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day. As I said before: Wait for full RAAF Operational Capability…..

  • Abledog

    says:

    It is not an attractive aeroplane…dont know what it will be like , but its still ugly…as are most modern machines with so called stealth capability..

  • rpaps5

    says:

    lots of uninformed comment as usual! The F35 is NOT the first Gen fighter the US has produced (ever heard of F22). This project has been mishandled from the beginning – The first military project head “Blowhard” Marine Corps Major General who seems to have allowed the early few years of the development to proceed without ANY milestones/goals/benchmarks to meet before proceeding to the next step set the recipe for disaster which the subsequent project heads have been desperately trying to recover from ever since.
    The performance goals have been set to a lower standard on at least 1 occasion as all models of the aircraft proved incapable of meeting the original performance requirements!
    Low observable characteristics are ok as a desirable trait of an aircraft, BUT it is only a benefit until they get close enough to be seen by the Mk.1 eyeball, then the actual aircraft maneuverability/speed etc performance & pilot training/quality is what will win the day.
    Already there are radars being developed which operate on frequencies which defeat the “stealth” characteristics.
    The F35 is NOT a “be all/end all” solution for any country, I, for one am glad of the F/A 18 Super/ EA 18G Growler mix in Australia’s fleet.

  • Alan

    says:

    I notice public comment invited on F35 flight operations in newspapers recently. Now wait for the greenies to have a say in how often they fly, when and where….
    Expensive – Yes
    Ugly – who cares as long as they do the job. Anyone think the F111 was a beautiful looking aircraft ?
    Worth it – Time will tell…..
    Lets hope we dont need to use them in anger…. just to upset the ducks at the end of the runway !

  • Raymond

    says:

    To those advocating America-class and Mistral-class ships for the RAN, do you not know that there are already two Canberra-class LHD’s being acquired, with the first to be commissioned in the next few months and the second undergoing fit-out in Melbourne? And that the Minister for Defence has said publicly that the ADF is considering acquiring the F-35B to operate from the LHD’s in the final batch of up to 28 F-35’s? It’s already happening!

    As for commenting on the anti-F-35 remarks, I’m getting quite sick of ignorance and ill-informed commentary and really can’t be bothered. Not to mention it seems quite likely there’s some trolling involved. Read some previous F-35 threads on AA if you’re interested.

  • William

    says:

    The current LHD fleet is configured for rotary wing operations only. It can’t carry enough fuel or munitions to support fixed wing operations and would require serious amounts of work to get them to be able to have the F-35B on board. Maybe a purchase of one or two more LHDs or similar vessels would better than reconfiguring the current LHDs.

  • Garry

    says:

    If you consider the shape and lines of this aircraft to be ugly look at the F-35 in relation to the other (Boeing) aircraft in the ‘fly-off’ competition – the F-35 is streets ahead of that flaming ugly (fugly) aircraft! We know that it probably lost the competition right there because aircrew won’t fly fugly aircraft.

  • marcel

    says:

    Beautiful thing. I was also once under the opinion that these aircraft were duds and that yes, as Adrian said; I thought the same, the Russians would out fly it. However, once I really just looked at the aircraft in front of me. I realized that there is more to this thing than what we have been told about it in regards to its performance capabilities. All we’ve been told so far is that it is fast,stealth and has excellent strike capabilities. One thing I realized is that the f35 carries a similar wingshape and airframe profile of the yf22 (being the most maneuverable fighters ever built), however it is a few meters shorter and is carbon, so weighs less. Stronger composite +Less inertia+less longitudinal stability= fast turns and direction changes. I have a feeling this girl will be a skydancer.

  • Gordy

    says:

    Its a Weapon System, not just a jet fighter, that will forever enhance and share the battle field picture, both Air/Land and Sea. The days of turning and burning are secondary these days, as scarfs were with the introduction of pressurised cockpits and ejection seats,…radar computing sights replacing bead sights. Sensor fusing,…..knowing where the enemy is, and then slamming the whole enemy formation with BVR missiles, then ducking away to fight another day, before they know where you are. The Growler will help even more to confuse them.

  • Lewie

    says:

    Interesting choice of numbering. ‘002’ instead of ‘2’ as used in the past.

  • Cam

    says:

    It looks good but unfortunately we are not buying it to sit on the tarmac and simply look good. It is supposedly a multirole aircraft. But if presented with a situation where an enemy aircraft just happens to appear its done. Now very few capabilities of the aircraft granted. But what is public knowledge if you have any expertise in the area you would find it extremely difficult to not rate the aircraft as poor. The reality is the basis of its existence and what is being relied on is that it can shoot down an enemy aircraft before the enemy seen it/knew it was there. The reality however is far different. In a age where stealth is becoming less and less rare. Where Russia and China are developing stealth aircraft etc then the jsf will have to beat them on a dog fight. Because it can not shoot from BVR if it can not see it on radar. So if a time comes where that does occur all of the weaknesses will be exposed in a big way. There are many that will say and do say that day will not come. That has been said before and like before it will eventually be realised that isnt the case. These things are still pivitol. You cant shoot an aircraft down from BVR that you can not see on radar. When this aircrafts in its prime stealth is going to be far more prominent and that takes that ability out of the game. Also will it live up to being as good as what they are saying. Remember lockheed martin are trying to sell it. No matter what flaws there are you will never hear about them because it doesnt sell.

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RAAF F-35 previewed ahead of AU-1 rollout

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 24, 2014
AU-2
AU-2 at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility.

Lockheed Martin has previewed the second F-35A for the RAAF a day ahead of a formal rollout of Australia’s first aircraft in a ceremony, which took place at the company’s Fort Worth facility on Thursday.

The second jet, AU-2, was previewed to media on Wednesday ahead of the formal rollout of aircraft AU-1, and wears the standard F-35 grey paint scheme with ‘low vis’ RAAF roundels, serial number A35-002 and tail markings for the RAAF’s 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU).

AU-1, meanwhile, was formally unveiled on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown, F-35 program executive officer LtGen Chris Bogdan, US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall and Lockheed Martin’s president and CEO Marillyn Hewson.

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Rear three-quarter view of AU-2
Rear three-quarter view of AU-2

AU-2's tail
AU-2’s tail

 

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32 Comments

  • The Road Runner

    says:

    Nice photos !
    Love the JSF wearing 2OCU tail marking 🙂

  • adammudhen

    says:

    I never thought the F-35 was a good looking aircraft, but I have to say, seeing it with the kangaroo roundel and “A35” on the side, it looks pretty bloody good. Can’t wait to see it in the air.

  • Adrian

    says:

    Shame it is such a defective, poorly performing aircraft. Is the Collins submarine of the skies. Overpriced and easily defeated be the Russian and Chinese fighters. No wonder the federal government is cutting services all over the place. Waste of our money!

  • Anthony

    says:

    Nice looking aircraft. Wonder how much foaming Carlo Kopp and the rest of APA has in his mouth.

  • Tom

    says:

    adammudhen I totally agree, I have always felt that the 35 looks like a 44 Gallon Drum with a few bits glued on but it does look pretty slick from these angles especially with the RAAF livery.

  • Trev

    says:

    Adrian, what security clearance do you have and what level of insight and information do you have on the true capability of this aircraft? My guess is absolutely none by the comments you have just posted.

  • Garry

    says:

    Adrian, Now lets see, how many hours do you have on a.) Project AIR6000, b.) Time on type, c.) your Aviation or Aerospace CV, or d.) Air Power Strategic Plans. Might I suggest that we wait until the aircraft is accepted into RAAF Service and achieves full Operational Capability status before making such broad, general, subjective and political statements.

  • OMEGATALON

    says:

    The F-35A Lightning II is a necessity because of modern radars which can detect older GEN 4 fighters like the Gripen or F-18 Hornet; but Australia should consider buying a couple of America-class amphibious assault ships which the United States plan to use to launch F-35B STOVL variants of the Lightning II which will allow Australia to protect their coastlines more effectively and reason why Japan has built their new Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer which can also be equipped with the F-35B.

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Nothing like a JSF story to stir up the comments tabs on AA.

  • Goresh

    says:

    Just wondering how they will get them home to Australia since current rules require an engine inspection every 3 hours of flight time?

  • Mark Bayliss

    says:

    If the reports are correct then were in trouble. So far this aircraft is still in development. But the early signs are not good. Plane is way over due over priced and comming up short on its performance. I’m no expert and do not claim to be just an avid military enthusiast but what I do know is no matter if this plane does start to perform the cost per plane is outrageous. Some of the countries who joined this program are either reviewing there choice or ordering less planes because of the huge costs and below par performance. Reports are also suggesting many hours of maintenance per flight hour which was opposite to one of the requirements. This plane has had a lengthy gestation period and it needs to be sorted ASAP as costs are escalating even higher. It does not mater whether your a airforce pilot or knowledge in air power strategic plans at the end of the day we need a fighter that will do the job and at this current stage it does not seem promising. Another note we the tax payers want our money’s worth.

  • Bob

    says:

    We’ll remember the same negative info going around about The F111 and what a superb aircraft that turned out to be… and in the final analysis, great value for money. Will keep an open mind on this one.

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    @all responding to Adrian
    Don’t fuel this guy…ignore him as I’m suspecting he’s someone that gets kicks stirring and interrupting good “knowledgable” discussion.
    The aircraft looks fantastic.
    In the 60’s they said the same about the F-111 or Ardvark as it was known then…followed by the “pig” as it was given unwarrantly.
    Now for some F35B’s 😉

  • Mac

    says:

    A Dud!

  • Bene Cochran

    says:

    How soon people forget when the F 111 was first being bought it was the biggest waste of money, had heaps of teething problems would not last very long and no good. Look how she turned out one of its not the best aircraft we have ever had . I think some people should sit down take a tablet and wait and see when we get ours and the good old Aussie know how gets its finger in the pie then I will pass comment until then bring them on go F 35 🙂

  • julian

    says:

    The North American P-51 Mustang had issues too… Until the D variant made it the best single prop fighter the world had ever seen….

  • Smokey

    says:

    remember all those bad things that people like Adrian said about the F111 when the RAAF decided to buy them. Dammed PIGS only lasted about 40 years,waste of our money!!!!

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    It’s only a “waste of money” thankfully when never need to use any of our defence force hardware.
    That I’m happy to say, I can live with.
    Will be interesting to see if the pesimists on here will have any backbone to admit they are wrong one day in the future when the Lightning II proves herself.
    My money is on they don’t.
    Mac, Mark and Adrian are armchair stats experts and also seem to be quoting issues that were brought up during regression tests years ago. The only issue lately and publisized is about the mission software.
    Latest engine fire is one off and could happen anywhere…Qantas A380 out of Singapore a few years back ring a bell?!
    Performance? Well if it means our RAAF will take a little longer to get to the battle to defeat the enemy then great! Doing some good for the environment and fuel bill to tax payers!
    Someone point me to a aircraft or any development in any industry that never had major issues to resolve, on budget or on schedule.
    Look at India’s T50 issues now and I hear China’s stealth is all “smoke and mirrors” too.
    So you’re entitled to your opinion, but only do so if you have the courage to stand by your words if proven wrong.
    I know I will. Happily!

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    @omegatalon
    Well there are two already built ships in France that could be redirected to the RAN instead of Russia!
    God forbid they get handed over to our old now new again adversaries!
    Very capable (with the strengthened and heat resistant decking) ships that will bring even greater versatility for the RAN if F35Bs are purchased.
    Crewing not an issue as ships staged into service slowly and new crews along with rotations of RAAF aircrew and maintainers etc…
    Like we did with HMAS Melbourne.
    Come on Johnson, go make an offer the French can’t resist and the Russians will get annoyed about ha ha ha

  • Tim Cheney

    says:

    At least you guys have a real jet to look at.

    All we got this month at Fairford and Farnborough was a mock up.

  • Someone

    says:

    Give it time guys. Australia doesn’t plan to introduce it into service until 2020 so plenty of time for the current development related issues to be worked through. Given the capabilities that will be fielded in the next decade, there’s no other EXPORTABLE fighter jet in the world that I’d want to see Aussie fighter pilots being sent to fight in. A mixed fleet of classic hornets and supers, transitioning to a mixed fleet of JSF and Growler is actually a pretty good place to be for Australia. The alternatives:
    a. Buy something that’s coming to the end of its development/production life (pretty much every other exportable western fighter);
    b. Buy something Russian (a ridiculous option that I have trouble even adding)
    c. Embrace indecision (Canada)
    d. Go the way of New Zealand and live in hope that someone else will do our fighting for us
    Some good discussions above but don’t believe everything you read in the media. Have some faith that the people in our Defence Force actually know how to do their jobs and if they say this is the right choice for us (given they know more about the capabilities of the aircraft that the public), then who are we to question their professionalism?

  • Garry

    says:

    To those who say it is too expensive:- Perhaps you need to look at Augustine’s laws, which were a series of tongue in cheek aphorisms put forth by Norman Ralph Augustine, an American aerospace businessman who served as Under Secretary of the Army from 1975 to 1977 and in 1984 he published his laws. The book and several of the laws were the topic of an article in Sound and Vibration magazine in March 2012. His most cited law is number 16, which shows that defense budgets grow linearly but the unit cost of a new military aircraft grows exponentially, therefore, by the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one tactical aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3½ days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day. As I said before: Wait for full RAAF Operational Capability…..

  • Abledog

    says:

    It is not an attractive aeroplane…dont know what it will be like , but its still ugly…as are most modern machines with so called stealth capability..

  • rpaps5

    says:

    lots of uninformed comment as usual! The F35 is NOT the first Gen fighter the US has produced (ever heard of F22). This project has been mishandled from the beginning – The first military project head “Blowhard” Marine Corps Major General who seems to have allowed the early few years of the development to proceed without ANY milestones/goals/benchmarks to meet before proceeding to the next step set the recipe for disaster which the subsequent project heads have been desperately trying to recover from ever since.
    The performance goals have been set to a lower standard on at least 1 occasion as all models of the aircraft proved incapable of meeting the original performance requirements!
    Low observable characteristics are ok as a desirable trait of an aircraft, BUT it is only a benefit until they get close enough to be seen by the Mk.1 eyeball, then the actual aircraft maneuverability/speed etc performance & pilot training/quality is what will win the day.
    Already there are radars being developed which operate on frequencies which defeat the “stealth” characteristics.
    The F35 is NOT a “be all/end all” solution for any country, I, for one am glad of the F/A 18 Super/ EA 18G Growler mix in Australia’s fleet.

  • Alan

    says:

    I notice public comment invited on F35 flight operations in newspapers recently. Now wait for the greenies to have a say in how often they fly, when and where….
    Expensive – Yes
    Ugly – who cares as long as they do the job. Anyone think the F111 was a beautiful looking aircraft ?
    Worth it – Time will tell…..
    Lets hope we dont need to use them in anger…. just to upset the ducks at the end of the runway !

  • Raymond

    says:

    To those advocating America-class and Mistral-class ships for the RAN, do you not know that there are already two Canberra-class LHD’s being acquired, with the first to be commissioned in the next few months and the second undergoing fit-out in Melbourne? And that the Minister for Defence has said publicly that the ADF is considering acquiring the F-35B to operate from the LHD’s in the final batch of up to 28 F-35’s? It’s already happening!

    As for commenting on the anti-F-35 remarks, I’m getting quite sick of ignorance and ill-informed commentary and really can’t be bothered. Not to mention it seems quite likely there’s some trolling involved. Read some previous F-35 threads on AA if you’re interested.

  • William

    says:

    The current LHD fleet is configured for rotary wing operations only. It can’t carry enough fuel or munitions to support fixed wing operations and would require serious amounts of work to get them to be able to have the F-35B on board. Maybe a purchase of one or two more LHDs or similar vessels would better than reconfiguring the current LHDs.

  • Garry

    says:

    If you consider the shape and lines of this aircraft to be ugly look at the F-35 in relation to the other (Boeing) aircraft in the ‘fly-off’ competition – the F-35 is streets ahead of that flaming ugly (fugly) aircraft! We know that it probably lost the competition right there because aircrew won’t fly fugly aircraft.

  • marcel

    says:

    Beautiful thing. I was also once under the opinion that these aircraft were duds and that yes, as Adrian said; I thought the same, the Russians would out fly it. However, once I really just looked at the aircraft in front of me. I realized that there is more to this thing than what we have been told about it in regards to its performance capabilities. All we’ve been told so far is that it is fast,stealth and has excellent strike capabilities. One thing I realized is that the f35 carries a similar wingshape and airframe profile of the yf22 (being the most maneuverable fighters ever built), however it is a few meters shorter and is carbon, so weighs less. Stronger composite +Less inertia+less longitudinal stability= fast turns and direction changes. I have a feeling this girl will be a skydancer.

  • Gordy

    says:

    Its a Weapon System, not just a jet fighter, that will forever enhance and share the battle field picture, both Air/Land and Sea. The days of turning and burning are secondary these days, as scarfs were with the introduction of pressurised cockpits and ejection seats,…radar computing sights replacing bead sights. Sensor fusing,…..knowing where the enemy is, and then slamming the whole enemy formation with BVR missiles, then ducking away to fight another day, before they know where you are. The Growler will help even more to confuse them.

  • Lewie

    says:

    Interesting choice of numbering. ‘002’ instead of ‘2’ as used in the past.

  • Cam

    says:

    It looks good but unfortunately we are not buying it to sit on the tarmac and simply look good. It is supposedly a multirole aircraft. But if presented with a situation where an enemy aircraft just happens to appear its done. Now very few capabilities of the aircraft granted. But what is public knowledge if you have any expertise in the area you would find it extremely difficult to not rate the aircraft as poor. The reality is the basis of its existence and what is being relied on is that it can shoot down an enemy aircraft before the enemy seen it/knew it was there. The reality however is far different. In a age where stealth is becoming less and less rare. Where Russia and China are developing stealth aircraft etc then the jsf will have to beat them on a dog fight. Because it can not shoot from BVR if it can not see it on radar. So if a time comes where that does occur all of the weaknesses will be exposed in a big way. There are many that will say and do say that day will not come. That has been said before and like before it will eventually be realised that isnt the case. These things are still pivitol. You cant shoot an aircraft down from BVR that you can not see on radar. When this aircrafts in its prime stealth is going to be far more prominent and that takes that ability out of the game. Also will it live up to being as good as what they are saying. Remember lockheed martin are trying to sell it. No matter what flaws there are you will never hear about them because it doesnt sell.

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