The Lockheed F-35 is an advanced stealth fifth generation fighter combining speed and superb agility. There are three variants; F-35A, B and C. The F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) and has four internal weapons stations in two weapons bays plus three optional external weapons stations. The F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant while the F-35C is a CV (Carrier Variant). The F-35 will replace the USAF A-10 and F-16, the F/A-18 for the USN and the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the USMC.
Lockheed’s second F-35A AU-2 (RAAF serial A35-002) completed a maiden flight on October 1 2014. The RAAF took possession shortly after and early in 2015 the aircraft was flown Luke AFB, Arizona to become part of the training team. The complete acquisition of 72 RAAF F-35A’s is supposed to be completed between 2017 and 2022. A35-001 and A35-002 made a first time appearance in Australia on March 3, 2017 to take part in the Avalon Air Show before returning to Luke AFB five days later.