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RAAF improving Super Hornet, Growler air combat training

Aircrew from the RAAF's No 1 and No 6 Squadron walk towards their aircraft at RAAF Base Darwin. Australia has upgraded its training to maintain the “air combat capability edge” of its F/A-18F and E/A-18G Growler pilots and personnel. (LAC Sam Price/Department of Defence/Commonwealth of Australia)

An air combat training programme for Australia's Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircrews has been upgraded and extended.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed a new five-year, AUD109.7 million (USD76.4 million) contract to enhance the ground-based training of pilots and personnel.

Janes has learned that the new Electronic Attack Air Combat Training Support (EATS) contract will replace the earlier Air Combat Training Services Support (ACTSS) contract, which was providing support for F/A-18F and E/A-18G units. The ACTSS contract was in place from 2010 to July 2022.

The EATS contract was announced on 1 August. The new contract is said to be a contemporary evolution of the ACTSS to provide “key support to the F/A-18F and EA-18G capability”.

Under the conditions of the agreement, Raytheon Australia will deliver ground-based “simulator maintenance and engineering as well as aircrew training services”, a DoD spokesperson told Janes.

Training under the new contract has commenced at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley, Janes was told. “The contract includes simulator maintenance and engineering as well as aircrew training services such as instruction, courseware development, and simulator programming,” the spokesperson added.

Director General Aerospace Combat Systems, Air Commodore Leanne Lee said in a statement that the “new Electronic Attack Air Combat Training Support contract will ensure our RAAF personnel retain their edge through high-quality F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler training”.

Air Cdre Lee added that the training will also cover “force generation tasks”.

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