Final Maintenance Cycle for Hornets

The last F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets to undergo deeper maintenance servicing have rolled out of the Boeing Defence Australia facility at Williamtown RAAF.

A sight we’ll soon no longer see ~ a Hornet F/A-18A A21-012 takin off from RAAF Base Williamtown. Image DoD

This was the 163rd and final deeper maintenance servicing for the Air Force Classic Hornet fleet since 2013,” said the Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price.

These operations have generated an additional 140,000 flying hours for the Classic Hornets and also contributed $200 million to the Australian economy.”

Deeper maintenance servicing on the Classic Hornet will no longer be required as the capability is progressively replaced by the F-35A Lightning II aircraft.

Boeing will continue to provide logistics, engineering and maintenance support through to the planned withdrawal date of December 2021,” Minister Price said.

Boeing will also assist Defence to prepare retired Classic Hornet aircraft for heritage display within Australia and potential sale to foreign customers.

This continued effort will assist in retaining a highly skilled Hunter region aviation workforce until there is a requirement for F-35A Lightning II sustainment which will also be based at RAAF Base Williamtown.”

The fleet of 75 Classic Hornet aircraft were introduced into service in 1985 and will see 36 years’ service by the planned withdrawal in December 2021.

Contract creates Newcastle defence jobs

Lockheed Martin Australia has signed a new five year contract with Defence for Tactical Air Defence Radar System (TADRS), which is used by the Royal Australian Air Force for air surveillance operations.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the $50 million contract will sustain the mobile radar system, create five new positions in Williamtown, New South Wales, and contains more than 90 per cent Australian industry content.

The importance of this capability was highlighted in the recently-released 2020 Force Posture Plan,” Minister Price said.

With more than 90 per cent of the contract dedicated to Australian industry content, this project not only delivers new technology for a cutting edge Australian Defence Force but also represents an enormous opportunity for Australian industry.”

Lockheed Martin Australia employs a team of 25 skilled systems, hardware and logistics engineers, technicians, program managers, commercial and business staff to work on the TADRS.

Image: © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence