AMBERLEY, Queensland, Nov. 4, 2009 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] today delivered F-111 A08-135 to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at a ceremony at RAAF Base Amberley. The jet is the 28th and final F-111 serviced by Boeing under the Deeper Maintenance program.
"Today is exceptionally historic because we are delivering A08-135 from the same Hangar 278 where Deeper Maintenance work on the first F-111 began 35 years ago," said John Duddy, vice president and managing director, Boeing Defence Australia. "We take pause to honor and recognize every RAAF serviceperson and Boeing employee who has contributed toward maintaining this platform. Because of you, the F-111 today remains the fastest and longest-ranging combat aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region."
The Deeper Maintenance program began in 1974 with the RAAF and transitioned to Boeing in 2001 for a total 500,000-plus work hours. The RAAF will retire the F-111 at the end of 2010 to make way for 24 replacement Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets.
"The maintenance systems introduced with the F-111 aircraft have been a mainstay of defense and industry's high-tech support capabilities for well over 35 years," said Air Commodore Roy McPhail, Director General of Aerospace Combat Systems, RAAF. "Today's completion of the F-111 Deeper Maintenance program will ensure the F-111 fleet remains fully capable until the replacement F/A-18F Super Hornets come on line."
Boeing is contracted to perform light maintenance activities until the F-111 fleet's withdrawal from service.
"Although this is the end of Boeing's F-111 Deeper Maintenance activities, fortunately, it's not the end of a great partnership," said Group Capt. Peter Lloyd, Officer Commanding – 82 Wing, RAAF. "Boeing's technical and engineering expertise will remain fundamental to 82 Wing's ability to generate F-111 air combat power."
Deeper Maintenance was performed on F-111s after 525 hours of flight time. It included activities such as removal of wings, engines, the undercarriage and other major components for servicing and/or replacement as required.
Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 13 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
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Boeing Defence Australia
Defence Public Affairs