A training support services contract for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) new Super Hornets has been awarded to Raytheon.

Under the three-year $21.5m contract, Raytheon will provide maintenance, logistics and training services to support the Super Hornet flight simulators, visual environment maintenance trainers and electronic classrooms.

Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science Greg Combet said the contract was vital for effective support of the air force’s fleet of Super Hornets after they arrive at RAAF Base Amberley later this year.

The first Super Hornet will be handed over to the RAAF by the end of March 2010, while the remaining aircraft will be delivered before the end of 2011.

The RAAF will acquire 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets in December 2010 to increase its joint strike fighter capability and to replace its aging F-111 fleet.