The last F/A-18 Classic Hornet to have deeper maintenance servicing rolled out of the Boeing Defence Australia facility at RAAF Base Williamtown on July 9.
It was the 163rd deeper maintenance servicing for the Classic Hornet fleet and Boeing has provided contracted maintenance support to the Classic Hornet fleet since February 2013.
Commander of Air Combat Group Air Commodore Tim Alsop said deeper maintenance servicings would no longer be required as the drawdown of the Classic Hornet capability continued.
“This is one of the many milestones that the Classic Hornet fleet will mark during this year and in 2021,’’ Air Commodore Alsop said.
“Boeing and Defence Industries’ contribution to Air Combat capability cannot be understated.
“Deeper maintenance servicings produce the available flying hours that drives aircraft availability and fleet health, this in turn allows 81 Wing to project Air Combat Capability and go about its business,’’ he said.
In total, Boeing has supported 293 deeper maintenance servicings of Classic Hornets, generating an additional 140,000 flying hours. This is around one-third of all Classic flying hours, Air Commodore Alsop said.
This role extended to Operation Okra support as an additional two lines of deeper maintenance were added in through task prioritisation, servicings structure and schedule optimisation.
“These vital 24 deeper maintenance servicings were completed in support of Air Combat Group’s contribution to Operation Okra,’’ Air Commodore Alsop said.
The F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet of 75 aircraft was introduced into service in May 1985 and will have accumulated 36 years’ service by the planned withdrawal date of December 2021.
The F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fleet achieved the 400,000 hours service milestone in July 2019.