NEWCASTLE, Australia, April 20 (UPI) -- Australian air force F/A 18 Hornets are to receive vital usage monitoring services under a three-year contract to BAE Systems Australia.
The contract, worth about $3.1 million, calls for BAE to gather, track and report fatigue-related information about the Hornet's airframe and engines using a unique, Australian-developed Maintenance Diagnostic and Service Life Monitoring System.
BAE Systems Australia said it has developed a suite of diagnostic software tools that provide the Australia air force with the capability to conduct detailed investigations into generic aircraft operational characteristics and into the causes of specific aircraft incidents.
BAE Systems was selected in 2008 to develop a similar capability for the air force's new fleet of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.
"Leveraging our unique system will give the (air force) and Defense Science Technology Organization the data required to make informed decisions on the F/A-18 fleet to ensure it remains viable until the introduction of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft into service," BAE's Aerospace business unit Director John Monaghan said.
BAE Systems Australia has delivered comprehensive airframe and engine fatigue monitoring services for the Hornet fleet since 1983.
Since 2009, BAE Systems Australia and L-3 MAS Canada have also been providing long-term maintenance and modification support for the air force's Hornets.