BRISBANE, Australia, July 12 (UPI) -- An intermediate-level maintenance facility to service Australia's F/A-18F fighter planes is officially open, Boeing announced.
Its first-of-type ILM facility for Super Hornets features nine workshops at present and is located at Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley in Queensland.
Australia currently flies a total of 24 of the warplanes.
"This milestone marks an important element in the successful transition of Australia's Super Hornet acquisition program to a sustainment system that is delivering timely, localized technical support to the RAAF's No. 82 Wing," said Kim Gillis, managing director, Boeing Defense Australia. "Boeing has worked alongside the (RAAF) Tactical Fighter System Program Office to rapidly establish critical air combat support capabilities, and we are now focused on maturing our capabilities to further enhance aircraft availability and efficiency."
Super Hornet systems supported by the facility include external fuel tank/aerial refueling pod; avionics; life-support and alternate-mission equipment; structures; wheels and tires; and hydraulics.
"The Australian F/A-18 sustainment system, managed in partnership with Boeing and the TFSPO, combines local industry expertise with U.S. capabilities based in St. Louis," said Glen Ferguson, Aerospace Support program manager for BDA. "The system also integrates the U.S. Navy's established support networks to sustain mission readiness and reduce support costs for the RAAF's Super Hornet fleet."