Australian Hawk fighter contract worth £265m to BAE

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British defence giant BAE Systems has begun work on a contract worth up to AUS$435 million (about £265m) to support the Royal Australian Air Force’s Hawk fighter fleet.

The firm said the five-year deal, with potential extensions to 2026, would deliver maintenance, engineering, full logistics and training systems support for 33 Hawks stationed at two bases, Pearce, in Western Australia and Williamtown in New South Australia. It should ensure that the Hawk remains an effective platform well into the next decade.

BAE’s director of aerospace in Australia, Steve Drury, said the air force would benefit from a “greater than 5 per cent” saving over the contract period, “without compromising on quality or availability”.

He added: “This contract is another example of how the Commonwealth can partner with industry to achieve significant savings. Our solution builds on the previous 10 per cent-plus cost reduction we achieved on Hawk support in recent years to deliver further savings through more innovative solutions.”

The Hawk, which first flew in 1974, is used in training and combat roles. Operators include the Red Arrows display team.