The announcement comes as the Commonwealth government pledged a $1.5 billion package to extend the Hawk Lead-In Fighter program until 2031.
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Under the agreement between BAE Systems Australia and the Commonwealth, the company would continue to provide maintenance, in-service and engineering support to the Royal Australian Air Force until 2031.
Upgrades have also been scheduled for the horizon, with BAE Systems Australia signalling that they would oversee the 951 Adour engine upgrade for the fleet by 2025, better aligning the systems with the UK’s T2 Hawk aircraft.
According to the company, the Hawk is one of the world’s leading jet training systems.
“The contract extension reflects the world-class capability of this aircraft, the teams which support the Hawk fleet at Williamtown and Pearce and our highly capable Australian supply chain,” Gabby Costigan, chief executive of BAE Systems Australia, said.
“The Hawk Lead-In Fighter has a proven capability of providing high calibre aircrew to the Royal Australian Air Force.”
“Together with RAAF, Defence and the program’s supply chain, we are proud to be contributing to the delivery of the transformational training requirements for a fifth-generation air force for the next decade.”
Under the new contract, the company would also provide software and hardware updates to the system to better address the training requirements needed for pilots to qualify on the F-35 and emerging aircraft.
BAE Systems Australia has confirmed that it will collaborate with the company’s British Hawk specialists to undertake the upgrades.
The program currently supports 350 jobs at the company’s Williamtown site and at RAAF Base Pearce. Currently, there are 180 Australian companies in the supply chain for the Hawk Lead-In Fighter program.