Boeing is set to upgrade two maintenance trainers for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in a bid to support the service’s F/A-18F super hornet fighter and EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft.
The RAAF’s current trainer configuration is designed for the single-seat variant, even when opererating the two-seat F variant of the Super Hornet.
The new development will upgrade this configuration and also make Australia’s two integrated visual environment maintenance trainers (IVEMT) specifically applicable to the RAAF’s EA-18G aircraft.
Boeing Navy training programme manager Tom Lavender said: "The trainers need software upgrades to stay current with the aircraft."
"Using the same software in both the trainer and the aircraft allows Super Hornet technicians to perform maintenance tasks exactly as they would on the actual aircraft."
The upgraded trainers will support technicians working on both platforms, and will also provide them with a significant tool to qualify as Super Hornet and Growler technicians.
The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
Air Force Capability Planning director general air commodore Michael Kitcher said: "This update is especially important for the new skill-set technicians will require to perform advanced work on the EA-18G Growler ensuring its readiness to support all branches of the Australian Defence Force when it comes into RAAF Service."
Work under the programme will be done as part of a US Navy foreign military sales agreement with Boeing, and will be performed at the RAAF base at Amberley, Queensland, Australia.
Image: A Royal Australian Air Force (A44-222) F/A 18F Super Hornet. Photo: courtesy of Bidgee.