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.
Hawk is one of the world’s most successful jet trainers; with a global fleet of more than 650 aircraft, delivering highly-skilled pilots ready for the frontline of air forces across the world. This commitment from the RAAF, which has more than 20 years’ experience operating Hawk, recognises the important role the aircraft will continue to play at the heart of its training pipeline. Mike Swales, Head of International Markets, BAE Systems
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.