Australia has issued a request for tender (RFT) related to its fleet of 71 Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft.

The contract will cover deep maintenance for 55 single-seat A-model combat aircraft and 16 twin-seat trainers, says Australian minister for defence materiel Jason Clare. The package also covers operational flight trainers, computer-based training systems, maintenance training systems, and testing and ground equipment unique to the Hornet.

The RFT closes in July 2012, with the contract likely to take effect from April 2013.

 RAAF F-18 Classic hornet

© Commonwealth of Australia

Australia's F/A-18s are probably among the most capable 'classic' Hornets in the world, having undergone major upgrade. They are expected to be retired before 2020, with the Lockheed Martin F-35A likely to replace them.

Source: Flight International