Super Hornet and Growler sustainment contract signed

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 15, 2016
Super Hornets from 1 Squadron at RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 2016. (Defence)
Super Hornets from 1 Squadron at RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 2016. (Defence)

The federal government has signed a new contract for the provision of sustainment services for the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced during a visit to Brisbane.

The contract is valued at about $264 million for an initial five-year period; the arrangement with Boeing Defence Australia involves subcontractors including Raytheon Australia, Northrop Grumman Australia and Pacific Aerospace.

Minister Pyne toured RAAF Base Amberley and received briefings from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) commanders.

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“It is a fantastic opportunity to visit RAAF Base Amberley, not just because it is important for me to understand how the Air Force manages its operational capability, but also how Australian industry provides the support we rely on,” the Defence Industry Minister said.

Pyne also met with a number of defence industry businesses, organisations and Queensland state government representatives, and visited small arms and ammunition supplier NIOA.

Christopher Pyne sitting in a Super Hornet at RAAF Base Amberley. (Defence)
Christopher Pyne sitting in a Super Hornet at RAAF Base Amberley. (Defence)

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11 Comments

  • paul

    says:

    Great stuff.The Rhino is a animal.Great to see Australian industry involved.

  • Nuje

    says:

    Amazingly the contract was originally with Raytheon and Boeing was the subcontractor, The influence that the final winner brought to bear seems to have switched the final outcome.

    With Boeing and, of course, the minister being thrilled one is left to wonder what happened inside Raytheon and how excited they will be with what they have left.

    Hopefully the tax payer has been the real winner, why do I get that funny feeling running down my back when I write that.

    Nuje

  • paul

    says:

    The real overall winner is the taxpayer with this capability.To all you people who knock the rhino.I spoke with an ex AVM at Avalon in 2015.He said no one in the civvy world knows how good this jet really is.

  • Fabian

    says:

    So why don’t we get more of them, and don’t tell me that it is eating into the f-35 program. Some advanced super hornets will definetly add some air power into the Air Force.

  • Harry

    says:

    Who knocks the Rhino? And I am from the city world and know that its an extremely good plane. We are lucky to be the only other country other than the US allowed to operate it!

  • Fabian

    says:

    Then let’s get some advanced super hornets or something.

  • John N

    says:

    Fabian,

    Yes the F/A-18F ‘Rhino’ is a good aircraft, certainly for the here and now and probably up until the early to mid 2030’s, but why invest even more dollars in a 4.5 Gen aircraft that is getting to the end of it’s production run sooner than later? Why?

    And yes purchasing more would eat into the F-35A (5th Gen aircraft) program for the RAAF, or some other program that would have to get the chop to pay for them, the Defence pie is only so big and can only be sliced in so many ways, how do we pay for them? And lets not forget the cost of basing, air/ground crews, etc, etc, too.

    As for the ‘Advanced Super Hornets’, they do not exist, it is a Boeing ‘concept/proposal’, the so called ASH demonstrator that Boeing presented a few years ago was in fact a ‘standard’ Super Hornet with dummy conformal tanks, weapons pod, etc, and all the other ‘ASH’ components, upgraded engines, cockpit upgrade, also didn’t exist and still don’t.

    Unless the USN adopts components of the proposed ASH, such as conformal tanks, then we are very very unlikely to ever see them flow through to the RAAF’s fleet, the RAAF made it very clear when they purchased the Super Hornets, that they would be maintained in ‘exactly’ the same configuration as USN Super Hornets, for all the obvious reasons of future ‘common’ support and maintainability, etc.

    Harry,

    The Rhino (F/A-18E/F Super Hornet) is not restricted to just the US and Australia, Boeing has (and continues) to try and flog it around the world, no takers as yet though.

    On the other hand the ‘Growler’ (EA-18G), has only been released for export outside of the US to Australia only, that is true,

    Cheers,

    John N

  • paul

    says:

    Fabian,2 things,it would eat into the 35 budget and 2nd LockMart would be very unhappy,thus reducing Australian industry work in the progam.I for one would take it out of the welfare budget.

  • Harry

    says:

    John! Yes I actually meant the “GROWLER”. Whoops bit of a confusion there typing on the run. thnx for spotting it for me.

  • Fabian

    says:

    Ok true that. We are going to have to wait till the f/axx comes out, Im guessing Australia is in the program. Although it comes around 2030 and will probably replace the super hornet. But man the 4++ generation aircraft of the future would do damn good.

  • paul

    says:

    Fabian,no F/axx for Australia

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