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BAE Systems wins RAAF Hawk contract extension

Australia has awarded BAE Systems a A$150m ($160m) contract extension for the support of its Hawk 127 advanced jet trainers.

The two-year extension covers maintenance, engineering and logistics support for the Royal Australian Air Force's 33 Hawks, two related training simulators and a computerised instruction system, said Jason Clare, minister for defence materiel.

"Through the strategic reform programme, the defence ministry has worked with BAE Systems to deliver savings in excess of 10% over the two-year extension period," said Clare.

The savings come from a revised maintenance strategy and overhaul programme improvements. BAE has supported the aircraft since they entered RAAF service in 2000.

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Operating from the service's Williamtown and Pearce air bases, the Hawks provide lead-in training for future pilots of the Boeing F/A-18A Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet. BAE has 180 staff at Williamtown and 50 at Pearce.

"[The Hawk] is an important capability for the air force, training our future pilots to fly Hornets and eventually the [Lockheed Martin F-35] Joint Strike Fighter," said Clare. "It's important that the aircraft and the other training systems are well supported and maintained."

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