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Last of new Hawk jet trainers arrive in Australia.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon. Peter Reith, MP Minister for Defence


05 Oct 2001 MIN 406/01



The RAAF’s new fleet of 33 Hawk Lead-In Fighter aircraft will be complete after the arrival this afternoon of the final two aircraft from the United Kingdom.

The two Hawk Mk 127 aircraft are due to land at RAAF Base Williamtown (NSW) mid afternoon after flying from the UK.

They will undergo delivery preparation before officially handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force in a few weeks

These new training jets, known as Lead-In Fighters (LIF) have been supplied by BAE SYSTEMS to replace the Macchi jets which were retired by the RAAF earlier this year after three decades of service.

Designed for fast jet pilots who will eventually fly either the F/A-18 Hornet or F-111, the new Lead-In Fighters are operated by the RAAF’s No 79 Squadron at Pearce in Western Australia, and No 76 Squadron at Williamtown.

Today’s arrival is the culmination of a successful $850 million project which involved the setting up of simultaneous production lines in the UK and at Williamtown.

Of the 33 aircraft, a total of 21 were assembled at the BAE SYSTEMS Williamtown facility by Hunter Aerospace and the remaining 12 jets were assembled at BAE SYSTEMS facility at Warton in the United Kingdom.

Establishing an assembly facility at Williamtown generated jobs and a provided a boost to the Newcastle economy. Ongoing maintenance and support over the 25-year life of the jets will continue to provide employment in the local area.

The project now moves into the on-going support phase as part of the agreement with BAE SYSTEMS. During this phase the company will provide engineering, maintenance and other logistic support to the RAAF.

Some additional capabilities will be added to the aircraft over the next two to three years. These include radar emulation and in-flight refuelling capabilities, which will further enhance the training effectiveness of the Hawk.

Further information:

Ministerial: Ross Hampton Ph 0419 484 095

Departmental: Richard Hogan Ph 02-6265 2913 or 0419 621 753

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