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Australia to Build Paint Facility to Make F-35As ‘Virtually Invisible’

The Australian government will build a coating facility for the F-35A fighter jets in the country.

The over 100 million Australian dollars ($64 million) facility will be constructed at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Williamtown, New South Wales.

The facility will include the application of a “specialized paint” to the aircraft, rendering it “virtually invisible” to enemy radar, the Australian government stated.

The “work is vital for Australia’s air combat capability,” the statement added.

‘Secret’ Paint

This is the first time the “secret” paint developed by the US will be applied in Australia, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

A radar-absorbing paint is one of many aspects of the aircraft that help it evade detection, including “aligned edges, reduced engine signature, internal carriage of weapons and fuel and embedded sensors.”

The paint’s chemical makeup is a closely-guarded secret. 

However, it acts to “help reflect radar energy from some directions while absorbing, attenuating, or altering it in others to reduce the aircraft’s radar return,” according to Air and Space Forces Magazine.

To Support Indo-Pacific Fleet 

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2024, following the design finalization at the end of this year.

The coating facility will be built in partnership with BAE Systems Australia, which is tasked with the maintenance and repair of Australia’s fleet of 63 F-35 jets, which is being expanded to 72.

The facility will also support the maintenance of F-35As operating in the Indo-Pacific.

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