The Royal Australian Air Force plans to outsource the structural support of its Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornet fighters for the remainder of the type’s operational life. The proposed commercial support arrangement is expected to start in 2008, as the service’s current Project Air 5376 Hornet Upgrade programme begins to wind down.

An international call for proposals released on 29 September says the support arrangement is intended to “deliver comprehensive management of maintenance, engineering and supply services for components that include flight-control surfaces, canopies and windshields, undercarriage doors, external store carriage pylons, removable structural panels and structural elements of external fuel tanks”.

Expressions of interest are sought by 31 October, with the proposed contract to be based on a “long term, performance-based” approach, the air force says.

Source: Flight International