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Australian F-35, EA-18G Jets to Debut in March

Australia’s defense ministry will showcase a pair of Lockheed Martin-built F-35A fighter jets at the Australian International Airshow on March 3.

The airshow will mark the Australian debut of F-35 planes in conjunction with the country’s first Boeing-built EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, Australia’s air force said Tuesday.

“The F-35A will bring significant opportunities to Australian industry, with already over $800 million in local design and production work, which is expected to grow significantly as the program matures and production increases,” said Australian Defense Minister Christopher Payne.

Payne added EA-18G will introduce a dedicated electronic attack function to the Australian military.

Lockheed and the U.S. Air Force‘s training command will manage the deployment of Australia’s F-35s from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

The fighter jets will return to the U.S. to facilitate training of Australian pilots.

Australia intends to procure 72 F-35As to replace the country’s fleet of FA-18A/B Hornets and expects the new aircraft fleet to enter service by late 2018.

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