The Australian Government has signed a head agreement with Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail aircraft.
The E-7A Wedgetail Head Agreement consolidates current and future BDA upgrade work and sustainment for the airborne early warning and control aircraft.
It integrates A$1.5bn ($1.08bn) in current contracts into a flexible overarching framework and would help support 600 jobs across the country.
The contracting framework has been designed to further strengthen the collaboration between the Australian Department of Defence and the company.
Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The Boeing-built Wedgetail was designed for the RAAF and provides airborne surveillance, communications and battle management systems.”
“This important agreement will simplify and make more efficient the contract arrangements that support this world-leading capability.”
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In addition, the government has announced that the in-service support contract (ISSC) for the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft has been extended until 2025 under the new contract framework.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo said: “The extension to the ISSC will allow BDA to deliver long-term value-for-money Wedgetail sustainment services to defence and see continued growth in Australian industry content, particularly in systems and software engineering.”
In July last year, BDA secured a A$582.5m ($442.8m) deal to upgrade the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft with the addition of advanced combat identification sensors, tactical data links, and communication and encryption systems.
The RAAF’s E-7A Wedgetail provides Australia with advanced air battlespace management capabilities, and helps control the tactical battle space, provides direction for assets, as well as supporting other aircraft such as tankers and intelligence platforms.