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Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Royal Australian Air Force completing aircraft upgrade

© BAE Systems

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) effort to place its Hawk Mk127 fleet among the most advanced in the world is nearing completion, with an assist from BAE Systems Australia.

BAE Systems Australia has inducted the final aircraft into its Williamtown maintenance facility as part of the aircraft upgrade regimen that involved a fleet of 33 two years ago.

“The upgraded BAE Systems Hawk aircraft provides the RAAF with a similar capability as the most modern Hawk aircraft around the world,” Gabby Costigan, BAE Systems Australia chief executive, said. “It’s been a benchmark program in terms of how BAE Systems Australia and UK engineering teams, together with industry partners and RAAF technicians, have collaborated to deliver this enhanced capability ahead of schedule.

Costigan said the endeavor is a testament to all parties involved the upgrade program has been delivered without adversely impacting the training of the RAAF’s fast jet aircrew which is a significant achievement.”

The upgrade of the final aircraft next year completes the Lead-In Fighter Capability Assurance Program, officials said, noting the Australian Hawk Mk127 fleet has been a vital part of the fast jet training system since 2001, enabling the RAAF to graduate trained aircrew for service on F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, and EA-18G Growlers.

Officials said the aircraft revisions include simulated radar, electronic warfare, digital mapping, and ground proximity warning system and traffic collision avoidance, in addition to the replacement of two legacy synthetic training devices with three full mission simulators.