Australia has completed a major phase of the F/A-18 Classic Hornet Upgrade programme.

Under Phase 3.2 of the programme, L-3 Communications MAS Canada and BAE Systems Australia – under a contract with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)- replaced the centre barrel of the selected Classic Hornet aircraft.

The centre barrel is one of the important structural elements of the aircraft fuselage to which the wings and the main undercarriage are attached.

Australian minister for defence materiel and science Greg Combet said the completion of this programme will ensure that the Hornet fleet safely achieves its planned withdrawal date of 2020.