Australia's F-35A capability moves forward

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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

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Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927
Kenny Ang (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 111 470
Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999,

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25 February 2020

Australia’s F-35A Lightning II capability has taken a step forward with the opening of the Australian and United Kingdom (UK) F-35 Reprogramming Laboratory.

Located at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, the Reprogramming Laboratory is a joint partnership between Australia and the UK. 

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said this new capability will enable the F-35 to be a “smart” aircraft.

“The Reprogramming Laboratory produces Mission Data Files (MDFs for Australian and UK F-35s) which compiles information about the operating environment and assets in an area, before being loaded onto the aircraft pre-flight using a portable hard drive,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Combined with the aircraft’s advance sensor suite, this provides the pilot with a clearer battlespace picture.

“The F-35A is a key part of the Government’s $200 billion investment in Defence capability.

“Today’s opening is a key milestone in the delivery of this program to the Australian Defence Force.”

The Reprogramming Laboratory will support Australian and UK F-35s by developing, verifying, validating and issuing F-35 MDFs for Australian and UK-fielded F-35s. 

Both countries are co-funding and supporting the capability under a 50/50 funding arrangement.

The F-35A is expected to achieve Initial Operating Capability in December 2020, and Final Operating Capability in late 2023.

More information about the F-35A Lightning II is available at: and

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