The US Navy’s Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka has awarded a contract to Japanese company Nippi for planned maintenance interval (PMI) requirements of the F/A-18 and EA-18G aircraft inducted at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni.

The new contract is worth approximately $6.025m and concludes the transition of PMI inspections and repairs of the navy’s Hornets, Super Hornets and Growlers to MCAS Iwakuni in Japan.

NIPPI is set to carry out an in-depth inspection of the various systems on-board the aircraft as part of the PMI.

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka contracting officer and aircraft maintenance team lead Kurt Dronenburg said: “PMI inspections and repairs are the primary function of depot-level maintenance teams and are required by the integrated maintenance plan (IMP) that each Naval Air System Command’s programme office is responsible for implementing.

“These important maintenance requirements ensure the navy and Marine Corps’ aircraft are available and ready to support operations.”

“The new contract is worth approximately $6.025m and concludes the transition of PMI inspections and repairs of the navy’s Hornets, Super Hornets and Growlers to MCAS Iwakuni in Japan.”

The PMI involves a range of works, including the removal the panels and doors from the aircraft, and the inspection of areas within the aircraft that are difficult to access in the field.

It also includes the identification of faults and discrepancies such as corrosion, and the repair of these issues as needed.

The deal forms part of the US Naval Forces Japan’s efforts to transfer Carrier Air Wing Five from Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi to Iwakuni, as well as a larger realignment of US forces.

A previously signed deal with NIPPI relating to PMI work at NAF Atsugi was modified to facilitate the complete transition of the PMI line.

The company was responsible for assisting in the move and establishing the PMI line at MCAS Iwakuni in time for the first F/A-18 induction as part of the modification.

An additional indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract was subsequently awarded by NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka to provide support for PMI work carried out in Iwakuni from September until January 2019.

The F/A-18 aircraft will no longer be inducted at NAF Atsugi for PMI inspection and repair works following the transition.