Australia to Buy 58 Lockheed F-35 Jets for $12B

F35Australia will purchase 58 Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-35 fighter jets for nearly .64 billion in addition to the 14 planes the country ordered in 2009, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Matt Siegal and Andrea Shalal report that Australia intends to give its air force enough jets to create three operational squadrons and one training squadron through the new order.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a news conference in Canberra that Australia will receive its first F-35 in 2018 and deploy an initial plane in 2020, the report said.

According to Bloomberg, Australia is buying the planes as it seeks to strike a balance in its relationships with both the U.S. and China.

Abbott told reporters in Canberra that the country holds an option to purchase 18 more F-35 jets, which would bring its total number of planes to 100, Bloomberg reports.

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5 Comments

  1. Michael DealNo Gravatar says:

    A hundred fighter/attack aircraft to defend a continent and the adjoining sea lanes from a giant like China, not to mention potentially hostile caliphates such Indonesia and Malaysia. That’s a tall order for so few aircraft, no matter how advanced.

  2. Fred SullivanNo Gravatar says:

    Some Russian said that “Quantity has a quality of it’s own.” He was referring to the almost inexhaustible manpower reserves of the Russian Army vs. Germany during WW II. Malaysia and Indonesia are unlikely to ever put up enough aircraft of any quality to challenge the F-35 during its service life. They do both have the manpower but have to deliver it to Australia’s shores to be a factor. In the face of the naval and air power that Australia will be able to deploy, invasion is a fantasy. The Chinese cannot reach that far without support bases which they do not have in the theater, even if they manage to put four aircraft carriers into service over the next 25 years. India would be a more plausible opponent if it wants land and resources for her people. India has some of the military capability but as long as she has to watch her northern borders, adventures to the southeast would be perilous.
    The anti-ship and air to ground capabilities of the F-35 and its survivability make it a good choice.

  3. Matthew ENo Gravatar says:

    In simple terms Michael it sounds like a tall order however in practical terms Australia and Singapore very close so 100 planes of ours and 100+ planes of theirs makes a potent force.

    China is too far away, Even with future Aircraft carriers they would be of little threat.

    Malaysia actually friendly with Australia, We base forces their and have done so for decades.

    Indonesia is the future adversary. but will take them time to grow so we can adjust as needed, bonus all our population centers are away from their range so we wont be knocked out in first strike.

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