New fleet of training Aircraft for UK’s Jet Pilots: The UK ’s fast jet aircrew will soon be honing their skills on one of the world’s most advanced training aircraft.

Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, announced that BAE Systems has been awarded a £450m contract to build 28 Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft. The new jets will greatly improve training for aircrew from both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. Lord Drayson said: “This highly advanced training aircraft will help ensure that our front line pilots retain their battle winning edge in the 21 st century. It is the right choice for training aircrew for future operational missions.”

“The production contract for Hawk 128 is the culmination of much hard work by MoD staff, BAE Systems, and their subcontractors. It will help sustain and support UK design and engineering skills in the aerospace sector.”

The contract covers production of 28 aircraft, the provision of logistic spares, and initial training. The Hawk 128 will prepare fast jet aircrew for flying front-line aircraft by delivering a modern cockpit environment with digital displays, sophisticated navigation and advanced avionics, including simulations of the latest airborne weapons systems.

This modern cockpit environment will have much in common with highly advanced frontline aircraft such as the Typhoon and Joint Combat Aircraft. The choice of Hawk 128 as the Advanced Jet Trainer will reduce the cost of training pilots up to the standard required for operational aircraft by enabling more training to be undertaken prior to converting to frontline aircraft.

he Hawk 128 will be built at the BAE Systems site in Brough on Humberside and assembled at their Warton facility. It is anticipated that the first of the aircraft will be delivered to the RAF in 2008. Hawk 128 will form a key part of the UK ’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme which will modernise, and provide coherent flying training for, our Armed Forces.

Further information

  • The Hawk 128 has an extended nose to house additional avionics and features a number of major changes under the skin. Three, full colour, multi-function displays similar to those used by modern fighters such as Typhoon can be used to display navigation, weapon and systems information.
  • The cockpit has new lighting fully compatible with the use of night-vision goggles for after dark operations. The aircraft’s head-up display (HUD) has been updated to use symbols and data used in current combat aircraft. Other changes include ‘Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick’ (HOTAS) controls which are fully representative of front line combat aircraft types, and twin Open Architecture mission computers hosting simulations of a wide range of sensor and weapon systems as well as a full featured IN/GPS navigation system with moving map display.
  • Hawk 128 is 40ft 7in (12.43m) long, has a wingspan of 32ft 7in (9.94m) and a top speed of 640 mph (1028 km/h).
  • A number of countries have expressed interest in the Hawk series aircraft, and export opportunities are being actively pursued.


Source: The Royal Air Force (RAF)
Picture: Hawk 128 - Copyright: BAe Systems
For further information about The Royal Air Force (RAF), click here

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