TAE Aerospace has received an engine test cell upgrade contract to support the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.

This was announced by the Australian Department of Defence.

The contract has been signed between TAE Aerospace CEO Andrew Sanderson and RAAF Air Combat and Electronic Attack Systems Programme Office Enabling Services director Val Lawson.

As part of this contract, the company will be responsible for upgrading the test system of F414 engines that are used for the RAAF’s Super Hornet and Growler electronic attack aircraft fleet.

TAE Aerospace will replace the control and data acquisition system (CDAS) software as well as hardware, which is about to reach the end of its supportable life.

The CDAS will be upgraded in both primary F414 engine test cell located at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland and the back-up test cell at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales.

This will help in sustaining redundancy in F414 engine test capability in Australia.

Associated upgrade work included under this contract is expected to complete by mid-2025.

Sanderson said: “TAE is extremely proud and excited to be engaged by defence to deliver this test system upgrade project over the next two years, and in doing so will assure future of F414 engine testing capability in Australia.”

The latest upgrade contract builds on the TAE Aerospace’s previous modification project for the RAAF Amberley engine test facility, Queensland which was completed in 2021.

This previous work provided Australia the capability to test F135 engines for global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.

Lawson said: “TAE’s comprehensive system upgrades will now ensure that these critical engine test facilities remain reliable and sustainable to support our air combat capabilities well into the next decade.”