Hawk Lead-In Fighter fleet reaches 100,000 flying hours

Williamtown, Australia: BAE Systems Australia has congratulated the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on achieving 100,000 flying hours for its Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter fleet.

Since the 33-strong fleet first entered service in 2001, the Company has proudly provided in-service support from RAAF Bases Williamtown and Pearce, along with global experience and knowledge from BAE Systems Plc as the aircraft manufacturer.

BAE Systems Australia Aerospace Director Steve Drury said: “Reaching this milestone is a testament to the capability of the Hawk aircraft; the skill of the RAAF crews and our employees; and our enduring partnership with the Commonwealth to sustain the fleet.”

Mr Drury added: “The support from BAE Systems is ensuring the ongoing success of the fleet as an effective and reliable training platform in preparing RAAF pilots to protect Australia’s national security. It is a great example of how the Commonwealth can effectively partner with industry to maximise platform availability and quality, while achieving significant savings.”

The partnership will expand in July when BAE Systems starts delivering all Hawk operational maintenance, becoming the total sustainment provider for the fleet.

“We’re proud to extend our support of this important capability to provide all maintenance support on the flight line. This more holistic approach maximises aircraft serviceability and mission success – directly supporting the training of Australia’s next generation of combat aircrew,” Mr Drury said.

The Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter is a tandem, two-seat jet aircraft primarily used to prepare the RAAF’s fast jet aircrew for operational conversation to the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet and, ultimately, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

BAE Systems’ current in-service support contract for the fleet was initially awarded in July 2013 for five years, with potential extensions out to 2026.

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