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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Peter Brewer

Stealth fighters over Canberra for Queen's memorial

The F-35A Lightning stealth aircraft. Picture Department of Defence

Around $550 million worth of RAAF fighter aircraft will be seen above Canberra on Thursday in a flypast over Parliament House as part of the National Memorial Service to honour the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Weather permitting, up to six F-35A Lightning II aircraft from No 77 Squadron, based at Williamtown, NSW, will participate in the low level flyover over Anzac Parade at noon.

The F-35A Lightning is the ADF's first fifth-generation combat aircraft. Capable of supersonic flight while retaining stealth, the F-35A has extraordinary acceleration, agility and 9G manoeuvrability.

Built by Lockheed Martin, each stealth fighter has a combat radius of over 1000kms, carries up to 8278kg of fuel, and has a maximum speed of 1960km/h.

There are three variants of the F-35, one designed to take off from aircraft carriers (F-35C), a second for short take-off and landing (F-35B) and the A version, which is the most conventional.

Australia has committed to purchase 72 F-35A aircraft for three operational squadrons at Williamtown and at Tindal, in the Northern Territory. So far Australia has received 54 of its planned order book of F-35As.

More than 50 Australian companies have been awarded contracts for the development, production and sustainment of the F-35, valued at $2.7 billion.

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