Manufacturing News

‘Re-barrelled’ Hornet heads home to Australia

ONE of the world’s largest cargo planes, an Antonov An-124, delivered Australia’s second F/A-18 Hornet to RAAF Williamtown after undergoing centre barrel replacement in Canada.

Greg Combet, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, on Thursday congratulated the project team for their work in ensuring the Hornet centre barrel program remains on schedule and within budget.

“I am very pleased with the progress of the Hornet centre barrel program. The delivery of the second Hornet aircraft back to Australia on time and within budget is a credit to the efforts of both DMO and Defence Industry,” Combet said.

“This is another success for the Hornet project office who recently announced that the number of centre barrel replacements required could be reduced from 49 to just 10, potentially saving up to $400 million,” Mr Combet said.

The AN-124, which can carry a payload almost double that of a RAAF C-17, flew the Hornet aircraft from Canada to RAAF Williamtown where the Hornet will be re-assembled.

“As part of the centre barrel replacement processes, the aircraft will now be re-assembled at Williamtown by Australian industry, including BAE Systems,” he explained.

The Hornet centre barrel replacement program is part of the overall Hornet Upgrade program which will deliver enhanced capabilities to the fleet as well as conduct structural work to ensure the fleet remains fully operational until the planned withdrawal date of 2015-2018.

The Antonov An-124 will return to Australia in November to pickup the next two F/A-18 Hornets due for centre barrel replacement in Canada.

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