Minister for Defence Peter Dutton announced on February 21 that the Australian Government has committed $1.5 billion to upgrade and extend in-service support for the Royal Australian Air Force’s Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter Training System, based in the Hunter region and Perth.

“This 10-year $1.5 billion contract with BAE Systems Australia will progressively update the performance of the fast-jet combat training aircraft, including an engine replacement, to meet the emerging needs of pilots preparing to fly the F-35A Lightning II, the F/A 18F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler until 2032,” Minister Dutton said.

“This is another great example of how Defence is demonstrating its commitment to strategic objectives and, in this case, bolstering Defence’s aviation capability.

“Defence has already made significant investments at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Pearce. This contract reaffirms our ongoing commitment to supporting regional development and building our national resilience.

“The contract with BAE Systems Australia will sustain 350 direct jobs, culminating in ongoing support opportunities for up to 900 direct and indirect jobs for Australian industry members to manage the integration, certification and maintenance of the new Hawk 127 engines to Australian standards until 2032.”

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton and Chief Executive Officer of British Aerospace Systems Australia Gabby Costigan sign the Hawk 127 contract at RAAF Base Williamtown.

The contract was signed on Friday July 2, 2021, with work already underway.

Rolls-Royce has now been formally placed on contract to deliver the Mk951 Adour Engine. The design work to integrate the upgraded Mk951 engine to the aircraft is progressing to schedule.

Transition to the extended in-service support contract is progressing to schedule, with further efficiencies expected to be fully realised from mid-2022.

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