Patria Aviation has signed an industry teaming agreement with RUAG Aviation to deliver life cycle support for the Finnish and Swiss air forces’ F/A-18 Hornet multirole combat aircraft fleets.
The agreement, which supports the Finn-Swiss F/A-18 joint Life Cycle planning, also covers F/A-18 Hornets operated by other prospective customers.
The Finn-Swiss F/A-18 joint life cycle planning aims to enhance cost efficiency in future sustainment and information exchange between the two countries and their respective industries.
Patria Aviation president Lassi Matikainen said, ”The co-operation between Patria and RUAG casts a strong foundation to secure the sustainment of the aging F/A-18 fleets and will utilise both companies’ resources to the maximum benefit of our customers.”
RUAG Aviation Military Aviation vice-president Heinz Scholl said the teaming agreement will benefit all countries operating the legacy F/A-18 fleets.
”By combining our know-how and experience through joint projects for our respective domestic fleets, we are able to provide better solutions effectively and affordably throughout the service life of F/A-18 jets,” Scholl said.
Several projects have already been implemented and fit into the scope of the teaming agreement, with support from the Swiss federal defence procurement agency, Armasuisse and the Finnish Air Force.
Some of the projects include a personnel exchange between RUAG and Patria Aviation in support of the F/A-18 maintenance programme, and various strategies for geographical optimisation of avionics repairs to reduce costs and maximise effectiveness.
The Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Swiss Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS) have agreed to study the impacts of the global F/A-18 sundown programmes that will progressively affect the Finnish and Swiss fleets.
Manufactured by Boeing, the F/A-18 is a multi-role aircraft designed for fighter escorts, suppression of enemy air defences, reconnaissance, forward air control, close air support, along with day and night strike missions.
Image: A Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet stationed in Brittany, France. Photo: courtesy of Jerry Gunner.