Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) celebrated the completion and delivery of the 150th Classic Hornet aircraft from its Deeper Maintenance servicing in early April 2019.
Wing Commander (WGCDR) Allan Wherrett, Commanding Officer of the Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office, said, “BDA has been the primary support contractor for the Royal Australian Air Force fleet of F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet aircraft, conducting the Deeper Maintenance servicings since 2013.”
“Throughout the past six years, BDA and Defence have enjoyed a responsive, collaborative and trusted relationship in managing challenges and resolving issues to ensure effective support to the Classic Hornet fleet.
“In particular, the timely and high-quality Deeper Maintenance support provided by BDA prior to and during Operation OKRA was a crucial factor to the outstanding performance of deployed Classic Hornet aircraft,” WGCDR Wherrett said.
BDA will continue to provide maintenance services for Classic Hornet aircraft, which includes further Routine (R3/R4) Deeper Maintenance servicings, structural inspections and repairs, workshop augmentation, and direct support to the operating squadrons. This will ensure Classic Hornet operations are sustainable through to the Planned Withdrawal Date of December 2021.
The last Deeper Maintenance servicing of a Classic Hornet aircraft is due to commence in December 2019 with delivery scheduled for April 2020.
Mr Leon Green, acting BDA Classic Hornet Program Manager, highlighted the extent of BDA contribution to sustainment. “At the end of 2017, BDA assumed responsibility for performing the Weapon System Support Integrator (WSSI) role in coordinating engineering, supply and maintenance support services, which will continue until the withdrawal of the Classic Hornet from service,’’ he said.
The expansion of BDA responsibility through outsourcing the traditional ‘in-house’ WSSI role enabled the release of Commonwealth positions and personnel, which were required to establish Joint Strike Fighter sustainment and support other fifth-generation sustainment capabilities in Capability Acquisition &Sustainment Group.