• The jets have a max speed of Mach 0.9.
    The jets have a max speed of Mach 0.9. Defence

Updated 7 May, 1130

Northrop Grumman has been selected by the RAAF to continue providing through-life support to the Commonwealth’s special purpose aircraft (SPA) VIP fleet operated by No. 34 Squadron in Canberra.

The 18-year rolling wave contract has an initial period of six years for sustainment and maintenance valued at $84 million.

Northrop Grumman will provide logistics, maintenance, engineering and training to the fleet. The work will be supported by a dedicated program management office in Melbourne.

The SPA fleet comprises two Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) aircraft and three Challenger CL604 jets, which are being replaced by three Falcon 7X business jets. In April, ADM revealed that the first of the jets was en-route following a final fit out in Arkansas, US.

The RAAF’s SPA capabilities are set to further ramp up mid-year with the delivery of a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport modified to support long-range government VIP transport needs. This aircraft is undergoing completion in Europe, after having had a VIP cabin installed, and will retain an air-to-air refuelling capability.

“This award is a reflection of our team’s support to the RAAF and CASG, especially through our work on the SPA, KC-30A and C- 27J programs,” Chris Deeble, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia, said. “As a leader in platform stewardship and global fleet management, we look forward to maintaining our 100 percent mission capable rate.”

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