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Boeing to upkeep Australian Air Force's F/A-18 Hornet fleet

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The F/A-18 Hornet fighter. An RAAF Photo

WILLIAMTOWN (BNS): The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has awarded a $1.5 million contract to Boeing Company’s Australian subsidiary to upkeep its fleet of F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft.

Under the contract, Boeing Defence Australia will provide engineering support services to the multirole fighter aircraft’s fleet.

The 30-month contract, managed by the Tactical Fighter Systems Programme Office (TFSPO) at RAAF Base Williamtown, requires Boeing Defence Australia to deliver repair plans for faults uncovered during F/A-18A/B Hornet maintenance, Boeing said.

The Hornet attack aircraft entered services with the RAAF in 1980s. The Air Force operates 54 single-seat F/A-18A fighters and 17 two-seat trainer version F/A-18B aircraft.

The Hornet is a multirole combat aircraft designed to carry out air-to-air and air-to-ground strike missions in all weather conditions.

The twin-engine fighter, equipped with airborne radars, is capable of accomplishing tasks such as fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defences, reconnaissance, forward air control, close air support, and day and night strike missions.

The supersonic Hornet flies at a speed of 1.8 Mach and carries weapons like an M61A1 20-mm gun, medium-range air-to-air AMRAAM and Sparrow missiles and short-range Sidewinder missiles besides other air-to-ground weapons. The combat aircraft has a total of nine weapon stations.

The aircraft is being operated by the armed forces of eight countries.

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