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BAE begins RAAF Hawk sustainment role

5th July 2016 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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BAE Systems Australia has started providing operational maintenance to the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter fleet, the company announced on 4 July.

The support is being provided at RAAF bases Williamtown and Pearce, where the RAAF's next-generation combat aircrew undergo training for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet and ultimately, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The company is providing all Hawk maintenance support on the flight line, including aircraft launch and recovery, life support, rectifications, on-site management support, stores and mission equipment and deployed operations.

BAE Systems’ Hawk Lead-In Fighter In Service Support Phase 3 contract was expanded in August 2015 to include operational maintenance, which was previously provided by the RAAF’s 76 and 79 Squadrons.  The company's contract was initially awarded in July 2013 for five years, with potential extensions out to 2026. Transition to the new arrangement started in October 2015.

Steve Drury, aerospace director at BAE Systems Australia, said: 'For over 15 years, our company has demonstrated its deeper maintenance know-how for the nation’s fast jet training capability. Now, BAE Systems is the total sustainment provider for the Hawk fleet, managing both deeper and operational maintenance.

'We have expanded our skills and expertise to deliver this combined sustainment role – hiring new aircraft technicians, team leaders and maintenance support staff. We look forward to growing our enduring partnership with the Australian air force to ensure Australia’s combat pilots continue to receive the best training possible.'

The Shephard News Team

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