Boeing expands RAAF classic Hornet maintenance role

A No 2 Operational Conversion Unit pilot and Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM (rear), wait to depart from RAAF Base Williamtown in an F/A-18B Hornet.Boeing Defence Australia will look after RAAF F/A-18A/B ‘classic’ Hornet logistics, engineering and maintenance services following the expansion of the company’s existing Classic Hornet Sustainment Support contract.

The expanded scope of the $145 million contract sees Boeing Defence Australia become the classic Hornet’s ‘weapon system integrator’ through until the jet’s withdrawal from service in 2021.

“This new operating model is a testament to the integrated and trusted partnership between Boeing and the Commonwealth, as platform stewards, to provide vital support services to the Australian Classic Hornet fleet,” Boeing Defence Australia vice president and managing director Darren Edwards said in a statement on Friday.

Boeing has provided deeper maintenance on the RAAF’s 71 strong classic Hornet fleet (55 single-seat F/A-18As and 16 dual-seat F/A-18Bs) since 2013, and completed its 100th deeper maintenance activity for the jet earlier this year.

The aircraft is due be replaced by 72 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from later this decade.