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Canberra
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

RAAF supersonic stealth fighter flypast

Don’t be alarmed if you hear a loud rumble in the skies this morning; up to two Royal Australian Air Force aircraft will be conducting a flypast as part of a ceremony marking the Change of Command of Joint Capabilities Group.

A pair of F-35A Lighting II aircraft is set to track south-southeast to north-northwest between 10.30am-10.45am, hitting speeds of up to 850 kilometres per hour and flying no lower than 150 metres above ground level.

The flypast will be a tribute to Air Marshal Warren McDonald AO CSC, the inaugural Chief of Joint Capabilities, who is handing over command after 42 years of service.

Air Marshal McDonald was born in Hay, NSW and joined the RAAF at the age of 15 as an apprentice motor transport fitter. 

The flypast is also a training opportunity, and a unit from the RAAF Base in Williamstown, NSW, will practise the planning and execution of precision-timed formation flying.

The F-35A aircraft is described as a key component of Australia’s “technologically advanced, lethal and potent air combat capability”.

It is a highly advanced multi-role, supersonic stealth fighter which was acquired to provide Australia with the ability to defeat current and emerging threats.

The Joint Capabilities Group is responsible for providing support including logistics, health services, professional military education and training, and military legal services. It is also involved in progressing leading edge capabilities, such as cyber, data link and satellite communications.

The new Chief of Joint Capabilities will be Vice Admiral Johnathan Mead AO.

Two F-35A Lighting II aircraft in action. Image: Supplied

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