Sponsored by Hobson Industries
09 Jul 20. Australia’s F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet undergo final maintenance. The Boeing Defence Australia facility located at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown has rolled out F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet aircraft after completion of deeper maintenance servicing.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said since 2013, this was the 163rd and final deeper maintenance servicing for the fleet.
Price added that the maintenance work has created more than 150 jobs opportunities for the economy in the Hunter region.
The operations have also generated an additional 140,000 flying hours for the Classic Hornets, contributing A$200m ($139m) to the Australian economy.
The Classic Hornets will be progressively replaced by the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Introduced into service in 1985, the fleet of 75 Classic Hornet will see 36 years of service by the planned withdrawal in December next year.
In order to secure these local Hunter jobs, Boeing will continue to provide logistics, engineering and maintenance support through to the planned withdrawal date.
Price further added: “Boeing will also assist defence to prepare retired Classic Hornet aircraft for heritage display within Australia and potential sale to foreign customers.
“This continued effort will assist in retaining a highly skilled Hunter region aviation workforce until there is a requirement for F-35A Lightning II sustainment, which will also be based at RAAF Base Williamtown.”
In March, the RAAF Base Williamtown agreed to sell its retired F/A-18 Classic Hornet aircraft to training company Air USA.
Last month, the Australian Government provided funding to three companies to increase their involvement in the global JSF F-35 programme and continue to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
08 Jul 20. French Air Force adds mid-air helicopter refuelling capability with new KC-130Js. Two Lockheed Martin KC-130J Super Hercules tankers are operational with the French Air Force, meaning France now has its own mid-air refuelling capability for its Airbus H225 Caracal helicopters and is part of the small club of countries that can conduct long-range helicopter operations.
The two KC-130Js operated by the French Air Force were delivered, respectively, in late 2019 and early 2020. The aircraft were ordered in 2015 from the United States via a Foreign Military Sales process along with two C-130J-30s. France has been operating the C-130H Hercules since 1987. The fleet comprises 14 C-130H and C-130H-30 aircraft based in Orleans.
The decision to acquire the C-130J and KC-130J was motivated by the fact that the C-160 Transall, which has been France’s main tactical transport aircraft for decades, was being phased out (only a dozen are still in service), unsatisfactory availability of the C-130Hs at the time, and delays in the delivery of the Airbus A400Ms.
Since 2006, Armee de l’Air has been operating 10 H225M Caracal helicopters equipped with mid-air refuelling probes. This system allows up to 10 hours of flight time. The Caracal was originally acquired to conduct mainly combat search-and-rescue missions, giving the air force a capability to recover its downed pilots behind enemy lines. (Source: Jane’s)
07 Jul 20. WA industry to benefit from ADF Hawkei acquisition program. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced a $2.1m contract for Perth-based businesses Advanced Braking Technology and VEEM, which will design and manufacture a specialised braking system for the Army’s Hawkei vehicle. The contract will help both Advanced Braking Technology and VEEM to diversify their customer bases worldwide and demonstrates their ability to meet Defence’s high engineering standards.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Advanced Braking Technology was selected in May last year to provide a brake system for testing to Thales Australia, the manufacturer of the Hawkei.
Hawkei is a seven-tonne, 4×4, new generation protected vehicle with a three-tonne payload, designed to meet the demanding requirements of land forces worldwide.
The Thales designed and built Hawkei delivers class-leading protection, mobility and payload with unparalleled levels of blast and ballistic protection for a helicopter transportable vehicle.
“Advanced Braking Technology has been successful with its testing and will now partner with VEEM to manufacture the system with a contract value of around $2.1m,” Minister Price said.
Hawkei is highly effective across a diverse range of mission profiles. Roles include troop movement, command and control, electronic warfare, liaison, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The Hawkei platform comes in a range of variants, including:
- Air defence; and
Minister Price added, “This world-leading technology is an example of the know-how Australian industry can provide for our Army and beyond. The equipment has been developed from the proven Failsafe brake system, which has been used extensively within the mining sector for many years, both in Australia and globally.”
The Hawkei has a large, air conditioned crew protection cell has seating for up to five occupants in the four-door variant, or up to three occupants in the two-door variant. A high level of built-in blast and ballistic protection is further enhanced by an add-on armour system that can be adapted to meet the threat environment.
The government signed an agreement with Thales Australia in October 2015 for the acquisition and support of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and 1,058 companion trailers, for use in “command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles”.
The vehicles are being specifically developed to meet the ADF’s requirements for survivability, mobility, payload, communications, usability and sustainability. (Source: Defence Connect)
About Hobson Industries
Hobson Industries is a private company established in 1987 by Peter Hobson, after serving as a Charge Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer in the Royal Navy. Hobson Industries is an innovative and highly technical engineering business operating to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System which is complimented with our ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.
Across the markets we serve in, the UK and globally, we establish close relationships with the people that trust and depend on us. We specialise in the through life support management and development of Land Rover heritage military and civilian platforms – in effect, the Land Rover need never die!
Hobson Industries offer four core services that we specialise in:
We offer Land Rover vehicle builds to original specification or complete with modifications and upgrades at the customers request. All work is done in house using our bountiful facilities. In addition to vehicle refurbishment, reconditioning and homologation across all Land Rover models.
Powertrain and Transmission Units:
We offer new and reconditioned units, perfect for your Land Rover. All built using Land Rover tolerances and specifications. All for sale on our website. Additionally, we offer reconditioning services to your own units.
With over 16,000 part lines in stock, and the Asset Management programme pioneered by the company, we are able to provide a cost effective range of parts which may no longer be available. Additionally, we are offering Hobson Original branded parts to drawings for obsolete parts to help provide Land Rover owners the parts to keep them on the road. Our parts strategy ensures that all re-cycled, asset managed and reconditioned parts and units meet original equipment standards and specifications to ensure your safety while driving on or off road.
Amour – Design and Fabrication and Blast Protection
We offer armouring in steel, composite and ceramic of new and refurbished vehicles and fleets.