$120M to BAE Systems, L-3 for Maintenance of Aussie F/A-18s
BAE Systems Australia and L-3 MAS Canada received a contract from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to provide long-term maintenance and modification support for the RAAF’s F/A-18 Hornet fighters. The 4-year initial contract period (2009-2012) has extension options until 2018 and has a potential total value of approximately AUD$150 million ($120 million equivalent). According to Wikipedia, which cites Flight International, the RAAF had 55 F/A-18A and 16 F/A-18Bs in operation as of late 2008.
BAE Systems Australia’s Managing Director Jim McDowell said the contract was a key element in sustaining the fast jet support capability. BAE Systems is building new facilities at RAAFB Williamtown, which will provide the basis for future support not only of the RAAF Hornet aircraft but also the Joint Strike Fighter that will eventually replace them. BAE Systems is also expanding its workforce by another 40 positions at RAAFB Williamtown. Defpro | Montreal Gazette.
RAAF Base Williamtown is located 14 kilometers (9 miles) north of Newcastle, New South Wales. Williamtown is currently home to F/A-18 Hornet fighters (No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit, No. 3 Squadron, and No. 77 Squadron), BAE Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighters (No. 76 Squadron), and Pilatus PC-9 training aircraft operated by the Forward Air Control Development Unit.