The Australian Department of Defence has awarded two contracts totalling $300m to BAE Systems and Raytheon.

Under a contract valued at around $200m, BAE Systems Australia will continue to support the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hawk Mk127 Lead-In Fighter fleet.

BAE Systems' two-year contract extension will support close to 300 jobs at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales and RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia.

Australian Industry Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said: “These are exciting times for the Defence industry and deliver on the Turnbull Government’s commitment to growing Australian industry as outlined in the Defence White Paper.

“The Hawk, as the training aircraft for the Classic Hornet and Super Hornet fleets, as well as the Joint Strike Fighter, is incredibly important in Australia’s combat training capability, providing experience for our trainee strike and fighter pilots as well as the Air Combat Officers.”

The $100m contract extension to Raytheon Australia and its subcontractor Milskil includes management and execution of training and support services for Classic Hornet and Super Hornet platforms currently being undertaken by them.

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It also adds the EA-18G – Growler training support services, support to the Spiral Upgrade programme and additional services including Force Generation Services.

"The revised contract will sustain approximately 50 jobs, supporting Air Combat Capabilities located at RAAF Bases Amberley (QLD), Williamtown (NSW) and Tindal (NT)."

Pyne further added: “The revised contract will sustain approximately 50 jobs, supporting Air Combat Capabilities located at RAAF Bases Amberley (QLD), Williamtown (NSW) and Tindal (NT).

“The contract will provide management, aircrew training services delivery, engineering, training device maintenance and operation, force generation and general support services for the RAAF’s Classic Hornet, Super Hornet and Growler aircrew training simulators and maintenance training devices.”

Pyne also announced an extension to the Air Combat Training Services Support Contract for the ongoing sustainment and operation of the Air Combat Group’s Hornet, Super Hornet and Growler Aircrew Training Simulators Systems.

Image: A Hawk Mk127 lead-in aircraft. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.