Hornet taxiing in front of hangar, New South Wales

The tenth and final F/A-18 Hornet to be modified as part of this program was handed to the Commonwealth this month during an official ceremony held at the BAE Systems facility in Williamtown, NSW.

The CBR Program, an integral part of the Structural Refurbishment Program Phase 2 (SRP2) for the F/A-18 Hornet fighter, involved the complete replacement of the aircraft’s centre fuselage (Centre Barrel section) near the wing root.

L-3 MAS, the world leader in F/A-18 Centre Barrel Replacement, selected BAE Systems Australia as the teaming partner in Australia to conduct the in-country scope of work.

The CBR Program, which commenced in 2006, is a complex engineering and maintenance undertaking which has substantially extended the service life of the ten upgraded aircraft.

BAE Systems Australia provided the structural “Tear Down” and “Rebuild” elements of the CBR Program from its facility in Williamtown, NSW.

“Tear Down” involved the dismantling of the aircraft and preparation for airlift via Antonov AN-124 aircraft to the L-3 MAS facility in Mirabel, Canada.

 “Rebuild” comprised re-assembly of the aircraft, flight testing and delivery to the RAAF, all carried out to the most stringent military standards.

At Williamtown, approximately 180 BAE Systems Australia personnel and nine L-3 MAS personnel provide a range of technical and engineering support to the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet maintenance and modification program as well as the CBR program activities.

Todd Bardell, BAE Systems F/A-18 Project Manager, said today, “The completion of this program represents a major milestone towards assuring the critical RAAF Hornet air combat capability is sustained now and into the future”.

 “We are proud to be part of one of the most complex structural refurbishment programs in the history of the RAAF,” he said.

Graeme Jones, L-3 MAS Operations Manager in Williamtown said, “This program has demonstrated the excellent collaboration between two complementary teams to perform a strategically important project for the Defence Materiel Organisation. We are delighted with the outcome of this successful program.”

BAE Systems Australia’s Fast Jet Support (FJS) line of business at Williamtown comprises over 350 personnel. These highly skilled personnel currently provide readiness and sustainment support including repairs, modifications and upgrades, to the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet and Hawk Lead-In Fighter (LIF) fleets.

CASTLE, Australia – BAE Systems participated as the primary subcontractor to L-3 MAS (Canada) in the successful completion of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet Centre Barrel Replacement (CBR) Program.

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