Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Auditor: Australian Hornets may soldier on past 2020, costs to rise

The Australian National Audit Office is warning that delaying by two years the acquisition of 12 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will mean a big hike in maintenance costs for the RAAF's ageing fleet of classic F/A-18A/B Hornets if they are to soldier on beyond its 2020 planned withdrawal date. For the first time, we are given an insight into the challenges facing nations struggling with keeping older fleets flying as a result of the protracted development of the JSF.

Australia currently operates 71 F/A-18A/B Hornets with three active squadrons and one Operation Conversion Unit, with the oldest aircraft in the fleet being delivered in 1984. The type has undergone several upgrades in RAAF service, and are regarded highly in terms of capabilities.

Management of Australia’s Air Combat Capability—F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Acquisition

Management of Australia’s Air Combat Capability—F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Fleet Upgrades and Sustainment

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