400-aircraft target set as sales campaign gears up

BAE Systems expects to fly the first development Hawk 128 advanced jet trainer (AJT) for the UK Royal Air Force this week as it launches a sales campaign built around the latest version of the popular training aircraft. The UK company identifies Greece, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore and Thailand as early targets for the Hawk AJT.

BAE sees a market for 2,000 fast-jet and tactical lead-in trainers over the next 10-15 years, and aims to sell 400 aircraft, says Hawk campaign manager Evan Evans. All new sales efforts are based on the Hawk 128 under development for the RAF, which introduces a new open-architecture avionics system in addition to the glass cockpit developed for Australia’s Hawk 127 and uprated Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour 951 engine of South Africa’s Hawk 120.

Two Hawk AJTs are being built under a £158 million ($277 million) design and development contract awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence late last year. The AJT features BAE-developed open-architecture mission computers that provide embedded simulation of air-to-air and air-to-ground sensors, targets and weapons.

The latest Hawk also has an autopilot and is equipped to operate in civil airspace with traffic collision avoidance and enhanced ground-proximity warning systems and reduced vertical-separation minimum capability, says chief test pilot Paul Hopkins.

The AJT’s capability is being developed in six phases, with the second software release for the mission computer – operational flight programme (OFP) 2 – having first flown last month on BAE’s Hawk demonstrator. OFP 2 introduces the second mission computer, attack training capability and simulation of short-range air-to-air missiles and guns. OFP 3 includes digital map, full autopilot and TCAS.

Evans says BAE sees a requirement in Greece for around 36 aircraft – if the country withdraws from the Eurotrainer consortium because of delays. Greece is also looking at the Aermacchi M346 and Korea Aerospace Industries T-50. Poland needs 18-36 aircraft, but faces budget issues.


Source: Flight International