BAE Systems expects the recent UK Ministry of Defence order for up to 44 Hawk 128 advanced jet trainers to lead to around 400 export orders over the next 15 years, writes Justin Wastnage.

The Hawk sales team, based at Brough, near Hull in the UK, says the recent selection by India of 66 aircraft was directly attributable to the UK's decision, while other countries' fears over long-term supportability are also likely to be assuaged by the order. Dave Potter, head of Hawk sales at BAE Systems, believes there is a global market for around 1,500 advanced trainers up until 2018. He expects the Hawk to account for around 350-400 of these.

BAE hopes near-term sales will include a Canadian requirement for 10 aircraft to replace its Canadair CT-114 Tutors used by its Snowbirds aerobatics team; a potential order for glass cockpit Hawks to run alongside Mk100s in the United Arab Emirates; and replacements for aircraft in countries such as Finland, Malaysia and Thailand. The company is also holding talks with the Slovakian military over a possible Hawk-based training system, he adds.

The deal with India is expected to be finalised by the end of the year, as technical details over offset and avionics licensing have already been completed.

Potter says constant product improvements are crucial to continued sales, and the Hawk development team says that enhanced sensor simulation is planned for future Hawk development. BAE is preparing a needs analysis, based on its existing 18 customers, to "define its advanced jet trainer solution" for the future.

The company says it is confident that the aircraft, which only shares the canopy and air brakes with the original Mk100 model, will be viewed as a new aircraft in competitions.

Source: Flight International