BAE Systems has been awarded new contracts to remain the in-service support provider for the RAAF’s Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter fleet and to upgrade the aircraft.
The five-year through-life support contract, with potential extensions out to 2026, will deliver deeper maintenance, engineering, full logistics and training systems support for 33 Hawk fighters at RAAF Williamtown and RAAF Pearce.
BAE said the contract, which came into effect on July 1, is valued at up to $435 million, representing “a greater than five per cent saving over the contract period, without compromising on quality or availability”.
“It will ensure the Hawk remains an effective platform into the next decade for preparing aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18A Hornet and the F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft, and then the F-35 when introduced into service,” the company said.
The contract will also foster increased collaboration, with the collocation of 78 Wing headquarters at BAE Systems’ facility at Newcastle Airport, Williamtown.
Additionally, Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly said as the manufacturer of the original Hawk aircraft, BAE Systems UK would conduct a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Hawks under the new contract.
“This upgrade is based on a later version of the aircraft developed for the UK Ministry of Defence,” Kelly explained.
BAE Systems UK and BAE Systems Australia have been working closely with Defence to define the scope of the upgrade, leveraging off previous Hawk development programs.