Use of the Salt Ash Air Weapons range near RAAF Base Williamtown will be halved when the F-35A JSF enters RAAF service.
The ADF says it has completed its review into the way the JSF will use the range and the aircraft’s anticipated noise footprint, expected to be far greater than the F/A-18 Hornets it will replace, and has determined the use of the range can be halved by the increased “use of training simulation.”
“Through this review of our proposed JSF training activities we have assessed that we can make a significant difference to levels of aircraft noise near the range which will in turn refine the Australian Noise Exposure Forecast in that area,” Deputy Chief of Air Force, AVM Geoff Brown said in a statement. “RAAF Williamtown has long been part of the Hunter region. Air Force has worked with the Port Stephens Council and the local community to find a way to decrease the noise footprint of the JSF, while still achieving essential training.”
AVM Brown stressed that the reduced requirement for the Salt Ash range didn’t change the anticipated noise “contours” in other areas surrounding RAAF Williamtown, “where we have no room to move on our requirement to get aircraft into and out of the Williamtown base.”