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BAE Systems has completed the decade-long maintenance and modification support contract for the F/A-18 Classic Hornet fleet of Australia.

The firm, together with its engineering partner L-3 MAS Canada, has completed the Hornet maintenance and modifications support contract.

The contract, which delivered deeper maintenance and significant structural renovations, aimed to ensure the Classic Hornets remain an important element of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) air combat capability until the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) comes into service.

BAE Systems Australia aerospace director Steve Drury said the firm has been proud of the enhanced capability it had produced while delivering the Commonwealth real savings.

Drury said, "This has been a major programme of work for our company that started in June 2003. In that time, our skilled workforce maintained 65 of the RAAF’s 71 Classic Hornets and completed more than one million hours of maintenance.

"The company is ready to provide in-country support for the RAAF’s next-generation JSF."

"We also contributed significant savings to the Defence Strategic Reform Program. Working closely with the RAAF and L-3, we delivered a 7% cost reduction on Hornet deeper maintenance in recent years and improved aircraft availability."

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According to Drury, the successful completion of contract has well-positioned BAE Systems to pursue long-term sustainment work on the JSF at Williamtown, when the aircraft comes into service in 2018.

Drury also said that the company is ready to provide in-country support for the RAAF’s next-generation JSF.

Image: BAE Systems, along with L-3 MAS Canada, has completed maintenance contract of F/A-18 Classic Hornet fleet. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.

Defence Technology