Australia Jacks Up Air Combat Power, Allots $12B for Purchase of 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 23, 2014 11:22 AM EST
Australia has allotted more than $12 billion from the national coffers for the purchase of 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, as the Abbott government jacks up the country's air combat power and resources to a total of 72 fighter jets by 2020.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses during the Commonwealth Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony in Colombo November 15, 2013.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will formally announce the procurement on Wednesday.
"We said we would work for a safer and more secure Australia," Jamie Briggs, assistant minister for infrastructure, told Sky News, noting the purchase confirms what the coalition had committed in their election campaign. "Having a strong defence force with modern equipment that it needs to do the job that Australian expects is absolutely part of that."
Mr Abbott said the JSF will make a vital contribution to Australia's national security.
"Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge," he said. "The F-35 will provide a major boost to the ADF's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities."
Moreover, the aircraft acquisition will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including regional areas and local defence industry, he added.
Also known as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the first JSF will arrive in 2018 and begin service with the RAAF in 2020. The new jets will replace the ageing F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, scheduled to be withdrawn from service by 2022.
Authorities at the Newcastle's Williamtown RAAF base rejoiced over the big news. It has been reported that the base will acquire the bulk of the new JSF jets.
"This is good news on a number of fronts, it modernises and provides the ultimate capability for our defence force," the Federal Member for Paterson Bob Baldwin told ABC.
"For our local region it means an upgrading of Williamtown RAAF base and that will involve many jobs in our region, and thirdly, it involves local contractors, like Varley, who provide component parts for the Joint Strike Fighter, so this is a win all around."
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Israel''s Al Aqsa and East Jerusalem Issues Threatening Its Multi Billion Gas Deal With Jordan
- Eurozone Indicators Forewarn Imminent Recession: Germany's Manufacturing Sector Slows
- Prince Charles to Reshape Monarchy When He Becomes King – Report
- Andrew Robb Asks Obama Not to ‘Lecture’ Australia on Climate Change
- New Zealand's Anti-Terror Law is Ready For Debate In Parliament : PM Releases Final Draft
- Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident Against the US: Talks of World War III
- Apple and Google Engage in Thermonuclear War, New Google Translate Chat App in the Works
- Walmart Offers the Best 2014 Black Friday Deals on iPhone 6, iPad Ai2 & Other Gadgets – Reports
- Update Samsung Galaxy S5 to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Sprint Release and Installation
- More Nexus 6 Problems Arise with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Poor Benchmark Results and Other Issues
- HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Delayed: Other Schedule and Installation Guide
- Highest Paid NBA Players 2014: NBA Stars Who Earn More Than LeBron James