australian aviation logo

New F-35 fleet solutions presented to RAAF

written by Robert Dougherty | May 2, 2023

Lockheed Martin RAAF maintenance personnel prepare to tow an F-35A aircraft during a sudden dust storm in Arizona, USA. (Defence, SGT Christopher Dickson)

Lockheed Martin has unveiled pioneering new software that will provide RAAF F-35 engineers with access to real-time operations data on the fighter.

It’s hoped the innovation – also created by the Belgium-headquartered ILIAS Solutions – will give maintainers access to past, present and future information on the fleet’s readiness.

F-35 program manager for Australia, Rob Weitzman, said the RAAF implementation will serve as the benchmark to introduce the technology to other F-35 fleets and will also be expanded to support C-130J fleets.

“The F-35 fleet management solution integrates RAAF F-35 data with the ILIAS Defense Platform to enable a modern user interface,” he said.

“This provides an intuitive set of fleet management visualisations, planning, scheduling, and decision-making tools to F-35 maintainers.


“Through close collaboration with the RAAF and ILIAS, we were able to deliver one source of truth for the RAAF F-35 fleet.

“With the new fleet management solution, RAAF F-35 maintainers now have enhanced real-time analysis at their fingertips, with quicker decision-making power to launch the mission.”

The F-35 is Australia’s newest fighter, purchased to replace the RAAF’s Classic Hornets that were in service since 1985 and retired in late 2021.

Over the coming years, Australia will buy 72 as part of the $17 billion AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program, with all expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.

The aircraft comes in three variants: the F-35A — purchased by Australia — is a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) version; the F-35B is a short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, and the final F-35C is the carrier type (CV). At the time of writing, 59 have landed on Australian soil.

In addition, Lockheed Martin was recently (28 April) awarded an US$8.3 million contract modification to provide logistics, sustainment, and system engineering support for the government of Republic of Korea regarding the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program by the US State Department.

The US State Department also awarded another US$7.79 billion contract for the production and delivery of 126 Lot 17 F-35 aircraft internationally, according to details released on 28 April.

That order includes 81 F-35A aircraft for the US Air Force, eight for Finland, seven for Italy, six for the Netherlands, six for Poland, four for Belgium, four for Japan, and three for Denmark. Twenty-six F-35B aircraft are requested with 15 for the US Marine Corps, seven for the United Kingdom, two for Italy, and two for Japan.

Nineteen F-35C are also requested with 13 for the US Navy and six for the US Marine Corps.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.