The Classic Hornet consists of 71 F/A-18 Classic Hornet aircraft and associated training systems supported by the Tactical Fighter System Program Office (TFSPO) at RAAF Base Williamtown.

TFSPO is supported through multiple CASG organisations, Air Force workshops and contracted industry partners. The major challenge in supporting the Classic Hornet is the increased maintenance requirements of an ageing aircraft fleet. Age degradation issues such as corrosion, structural cracking and obsolescence of related sub-systems are a significant cost driver and availability risk.

During 2017-18, the focus will be to continue supporting the fleet to its Planned Withdrawal Date (PWD) of Dec 2021, managing ageing aircraft effects, and assuring operational capability effectiveness ‘to the last day’. This includes finalising the Life of Type Assessment and Extension (LOTEX) Program to ensure the platform can safely attain PWD. Increased priority will also be given to the planning the strategic disposal of the fleet and associated equipment in the PWD drawdown.

TFSPO has also commenced and organisational restructure to commercialise and promote increased industry support to the life-of-type sustainment of the Classic Hornet. This transformation activity will release personnel resources to support the Air Combat transition to Super Hornet and Joint Strike Fighter.

Brand Royal Australian Air Force

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