A F-35B Lightning II takes off on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) during routine daylight operations, a part of Operational Testing 1 on 22 May 2015 (Image © Cpl. Anne Henry / US Marine Corps)

Australia drops F-35B jump jet plans

Australia has dropped plans to buy Lockheed Martin F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft for its Landing Helicopter Ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, various sources report on Thursday 9 July.

Computer generated cut-out of helicopters boarded on the HMAS Canberra (Image © Commonwealth of Australia)
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Plans to operate the F-35B from both ships first emerged last year and were even confirmed by Defense minister David Johnston. Those plans have now been quietly ditched, the apparent reason being the large number of modifications needed to both brand new ships.

Australia therefore will only operate the standard F-35A variant, of which 72 are on order and two are currently used for training in the US. The first Royal Australian Air Force pilots are learning to fly the F-35A at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A F-35B Lightning II takes off on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) during routine daylight operations, a part of Operational Testing 1 on 22 May 2015 (Image © Cpl. Anne Henry / US Marine Corps)

One thought on “Australia drops F-35B jump jet plans”

  1. Nothing has been released officially yet. We’ll find out when the Defence White Paper is released. If this is true the RAN will be left with two big, floating targets and the RAAF will slide further towards irrelevance.

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