The call on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to support an Air Task Group deployment to the Middle East over the financial years 2015-16 to 2016-17 is having a major impact on forecast flying hours set by Defence for normal operations, the Defence Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) for 2016-17 show.
While C-17 Globemaster transports in 2015-16 flew roughly 1,000 more hours than their normal 6,200 hours allocation, the KC-30A MRTT tanker fleet flew roughly twice as many hours as the 3,100 hours budgeted for 2016-17, the PBS released on Tuesday with the federal government’s budget for 2016-17 details.
F/A-18A/B Hornets flew 15,700 hours in 2015-16 compared to their regular annual allocation of 12,000 hours, while F/A-18F Super Hornets flew 800 more hours than their regular 4,000-hour allocation.
E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft flew their full allocation of 3,600 hours in 2015-16, and are projected to sustain this rate of effort through to the end of the Forward Estimates.
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