BAE Systems Australia is getting closer to resolving a key capability shortfall in the Royal Australian Air Force's operations of the Hawk lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT), with the company's Military Air Support unit within 12 months of delivering the aircraft's vital radar simulation and emulation systems.

Developed by BAE in the UK, the radar emulation technology will provide Hawk crews with the ability to see radar-like situational awareness information by receiving aircraft positional data from GPS satellites – a capability key for advanced multi-ship operations and also central to the UK's future operation of up to 44 Hawk 128 trainers.

Although the availability of the radar emulation and simulation systems for the RAAF is behind its intended schedule, BAE Australia says the programme remains "within the time for delivery milestones" and that no penalty payments have been imposed. Both systems will be delivered to the air force within the next 12 months and introduced across the Hawk fleet under a phased release, according to Military Air Support executive director Harry Bradford. "We have solved any issues and will deliver to our customer's expectations," he says.

BAE Australia provides LIFT support services to the RAAF by guaranteeing the availability of 28 of the service's 33 Hawks on any given day, and incurs a penalty charge if it fails to deliver on its commitment. "In the last 15 months we haven't lost a day," says Bradford.

BAE hopes to follow its delivery of the new radar emulation and simulation systems by offering the RAAF radar warning receiver systems to further enhance the operational capabilities of the LIFT fleet, he says.


Source: Flight International