Newcastle Airport named for new F-35 stealth coating facility
Newcastle Airport is set to become the regional hub for maintaining F-35A Lightning II aircraft as the federal government greenlights an aircraft coating facility on the east coast.
Australia’s first dedicated coating facility, specialising in applying stealth paint to the aircraft, will be built in partnership with BAE Systems Australia and responsible for the maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade activities for Australia’s fleet of 72 F-35A aircraft.
It is expected the design of the coating facility will be finalised by the end of this year, with construction expected to start around mid-2024 at a total expected cost of more than $100 million.
“This is a vote of confidence in the Hunter that ensures these world-class aircraft will operate and be sustained from Newcastle Airport for decades to come,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy.
“The Hunter community can be proud to be playing a vital role in sustaining this critical defence capability not only for Australia, but also for our region.