Williamtown, Australia: BAE Systems Australia has created 116 new jobs as the Company starts providing operational maintenance to the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter fleet.
CAPTION: BAE Systems Technician Michael Hickey, communicates with BAE Systems test pilot, Andy Blythe (front Seat) and No 78 Wing test pilot Squadron Leader Michael Physick before their first flight in a modified Hawk-127. Photo by Darren Mottram
The Company is directly supporting the training of Australia’s next combat aircrew, delivering all Hawk maintenance support on the flight line at RAAF Bases Williamtown and Pearce. This work has created 68 jobs at Williamtown, New South Wales, and 48 at Pearce, Western Australia.
BAE Systems Australia Aerospace Director, Steve Drury, said: “For over 15 years, our Company has demonstrated its deeper maintenance know-how for the nation’s fast jet training capability. Now, BAE Systems is the total sustainment provider for the Hawk fleet, managing both deeper and operational maintenance.”
Mr Drury added: “We have expanded our skills and expertise to deliver this combined sustainment role – hiring new aircraft technicians, team leaders and maintenance support staff. We look forward to growing our enduring partnership with the RAAF to ensure Australia’s combat pilots continue to receive the best training possible.”
Under the new arrangement, BAE Systems is responsible for aircraft launch and recovery, rectifications, life support, stores and mission equipment, on-site management support and deployed operations.
Operational maintenance was previously provided by the RAAF’s 76 and 79 Squadrons. Transition to the new arrangement started in October 2015 to ensure a seamless change.
The Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter is a tandem, two-seat jet aircraft. It is used to prepare the RAAF’s fast jet aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet and ultimately, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
BAE Systems’ Hawk Lead-In Fighter In Service Support Phase 3 contract was expanded last year to include operational maintenance. It was initially awarded in July 2013 for five years, with potential extensions out to 2026..
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