LONDON — The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is boosting its aircrew training capabilities in a deal that will see BAE Systems upgrade its Hawk Mk127 jet trainer fleet and CAE build three new simulators.
BAE said in a statement here that the upgrade of the aircraft, along with the full mission simulators and other RAAF aircrew and ground crew training and support, is worth £90 million (US $134.1 million).
The simulators and other training elements account for about a third of the overall cost of the program to date, said a BAE spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman said the £90 million also includes fitting two of the Australian Hawks with the upgrade package for flight tests and service clearances, and the supply of modification kits and other equipment for the remaining 31 aircraft in the fleet.
The actual installation of equipment on the remaining 31 aircraft will be subject to a further contract, she said.
Australia announced last year it was getting the upgrade underway with a £15.5 million contract with BAE.
The latest deal comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this month that BAE had secured renewal of a maintenance and support contract for the RAAF’s 33-strong Lead-In jet trainer fleet. The support contract runs for five years with possible extensions beyond that to 2026.
The aircraft upgrade will include new primary and secondary mission computers, OC2 software, a new datalink and traffic collision avoidance systems. The revamp brings the RAAF machines up to the standard of the Royal Air Force Hawk 128 fleet.
The work will be carried out at BAE’s Williamtown facility in New South Wales.
The CAE simulators destined for the RAAF are similar to the systems delivered to the RAF training base at Valley, north Wales, as part of the Military Flying Training System run by Ascent, the Lockheed Martin-Babcock team.