Hawk military trainer aircraft will continue to train Australia’s frontline fighter pilots through to 2031 after a A$1.5 billion (£794m) commitment by the Australian Government.
BAE Systems’ Australian engineering teams, supported by teams in the UK, will deliver a programme of software and hardware upgrades to the Australian 33-strong Mk 127 Hawk fleet to ensure it continues to deliver highly-trained pilots to fly fast jets including the F-35 Lightning II.
The new contract includes the continuation of the existing in-service support, providing maintenance, engineering and supply chain services to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and provides the foundation for progressive upgrades of mission systems.
A Rolls-Royce 951 Adour engine upgrade for the Australian fleet will be incorporated by 2025 and will align the aircraft with the UK Royal Air Force’s T2 Hawk aircraft.
The aircraft is a global success story with more than 1,000 aircraft sold, the vast majority exported from the UK, delivering more than £16bn to the nation’s economy from an initial £800m investment.
In Australia, the Lead-In Fighter programme sustains a combined direct and indirect highly skilled workforce of almost 900 people at BAE Systems Williamtown (NSW) facility and at RAAF Base Pearce, as well as a supply chain of 168 Australian businesses, many of which are based in the Hunter Valley.
BAE Systems delivers support to Hawk fleets around the world through in-country teams in the UK, the Middle East and Far East and through engineering support services from the UK, ensuring aircraft are available where they are needed, when they are needed.