From Defense Aerospace:
“It is well documented that the F-35A aircraft requires modifications for lightning protection and these modifications have not yet been completed on the two visiting Australian aircraft,” the RAAF said in a March 4 statement posted on its website.
The F-35’s continued inability to fly near thunderstorms, like its inability to take off in fog that was revealed during its six-day ferry flight to Israel in December, shows it is still severely limited in adverse-weather operations, 16 years into its development and 11 years since its first flight.
It also contradicts recent statements by senior Australian ministers, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who for example claimed “The F-35A is the most advanced fighter in the world,” while Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne said “The F-35A will provide the Air Force with the ability to execute air combat missions which were previously beyond our scope.”
This is terribly ironic since the aircraft’s referred to as the Lightning II.