BAE Systems has begun manufacturing the first components for a Hawk advanced jet trainer under an eight-aircraft deal for Oman.

“Machining commenced on the first Hawk aircraft frame” at BAE’s Brough site in east Yorkshire, the company announced on 2 June.

“The first aircraft is expected to fly in 2016,” says BAE, which secured an order for eight Hawks and 12 Eurofighter Typhoons from Muscat in December 2012. The Royal Air Force of Oman’s new trainers will be completed at the company’s Warton site in Lancashire, following 22 of the type already in production for Saudi Arabia. “Manufacture of the Typhoon aircraft is already under way at the Samlesbury site,” the company's statement adds.

BAE said last month that it is “currently in discussion with a number of potential customers” for additional Hawk sales, with prospects identified in the Middle East, Europe and India.

Source: Flight International